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Social Universals 

By William Henry Smyth 


Human Instincts in Reconstruction: 
An Analysis of Urges and Suggestions for Their Direction 

National Industrial Management: 
Practical Suggestions for National Reconstruction 

Ways and Means 
To Gain Industrial Democracy 

Skill Economics 
For Industrial Democracy 


Magic Money, Money Magic and the Magician: 
The Payers and — the Fading Smile 

The Method of Solving Problems Generally 
And Our Social Problem in Particular 

A Working Method for a Workable Understanding 
Of the Social Problem and of a Workable Reconstruction 

Labor, Skill, Tally, Organization and Their Functions: 
Production, Distribution, Direction 


Animal-man and Man-animal: 
A Working Understanding of Man the Social Unit 

Old Irascible Strong and Trixie Cunning 
Their Sons and Modern Society 

Parasitism and Personality: 
Conflicting Drifts in the Evolution of Society 

The World's Great Crisis: 
Emergence of Social Self-Consciousness 

Social Universals 

.. Copyright, J521, bp W_ ;H; Smyth. 


I wonder . . 


I have read "Technocracy" with very great in- 
terest. 1 have been reaching the conclusion (hir- 
ing the last year especially that engineers and 
technical men hold a peculiarly strategic position 
in the- whole industrial structure of modern soci- 
ety ; and on this account, as well as for the 
substance of it, "Technocracy" makes a special 
appeal to me. 

Views of more or less similar import appear 
to be coming from a considerable range of tech- 
nical men. All of this seems to indicate a 
fairly well-defined rebelliousness of practicing me- 
chanics and engineers against the mechanistic 
philosophy of life. It is a significant fact that 
seemingly the strongest, most persistent uphold- 
ers of the mechanistic philosophy are men who 
are not mechanics or mechanists at all in the 
practical sense. 


[William Emerson Ritter, Ph. D.. is the eminent 
scientist and philosophical thinker who is Director of 
the Scripps Institution for Biological Research; Pro- 
fessor of zoology in the University of California; 
President of the American Association for the Advance- 
ment of Science (Pacific Branch); founder of "Science 
Service," and author of "War, Science and Civilization"; 
"I he Higher Usefulness of Science"; "The Prohahle 
Infinity of Nature and Life"; "The Unity of the Or- 
ganism"; "An Organismal Theory of Consciousness"; 
etc. — Editor.] 

Reprinted from the Gazette, Berkeley, California 
Copyright, 1920, 1921, by W. H. Smyth, 



Human Instincts in Reconstruction. 
An Analysis of Urges and a Suggestion For Their Direction. 

By William Henry Smyth 

Note — The author shows that the forces of the four great human 
instincts — to live, to make, to take, to control — are as essential in mod- 
ern social life as at any time in the past. But all of these urges in a 
living democracy should be controlled without being controlled. To 
achieve this seeming paradox we must have a great national purpose, and 
unselfish leadership such as could come through a National Council 
of Scientists. 

Mr. William Henry Smyth has been in general practice as a con- 
sulting engineer since 1879. He is the inventor of many machines and 
mechanical devices, including a system of raising water by direct 
explosion on its surface, the device being known as the "direct explo- 
sion pump." He has been an engineering expert in many patent cases, 
and is a frequent contributor to technical journals. As well as a pioneer 
in mechanics, Mr. Smyth is a pioneer in economics. He is a member 
of the leading scholarly associations in that field, including the Amer- 
ican Economic Association and the Royal Economic Society of Great 

(Parts I, II and III appeared originally in "Industrial Management" 
of New York.)— Editor. 




Instincts Control. 

Instincts are the most persistent 
human urge factors. Seemingly, 
they are less subject to change than 
even the most unchanging aspects 
of our physical environment. 

The Instinct to Live (self-preser- 
vation) is as dominating today as 
in the days of our cave-man an- 
cestors; the Instinct to Construct 
is as persistent in Man as in the 
beaver; the Mastery Instinct (desire 
to control others) is as vital as 
ever; the Thievish Instinct (desire 
to acquire and hoard) shows no 
change, and is the same old urge 
as that disclosed by the pre-man 
stores of insects, birds and various 

Indeed, without these primordial 
urges Man could not have developed, 
and the loss or atrophy of any one 
of them would probably mean the 

rapid extinction of the race. Thus it 
would seem that our fundamental 
instincts are essentially necessary to 
human continuance — at least, to our 
social existence. So let us look 
once more at these vital factors, in 
the light of recent events, in order 
to see what part they now take and 
are likely to play in our future social 

Brute Force. 

No lesson of the war, probably, is 
more obvious or more clearly de- 
fined than the rapid trend toward 
Skill as a predominating and con- 
trolling factor in our immediate so- 
cial development. 

Recorded history and archaeologic- 
al investigation confirm the sugges- 
tion that in the matter of economic 
control of human activities and their 
products, the possession of this con- 
trol has oscillated to and fro under 



the influence of one or other of the 
instinctive urges, so that character- 
istic types of men secured alternate 

Starting in the pre-human period, 
before the dawn of definite self-con- 
sciousness, and continuing during 
eons in the twilight of human intelli- 
gence, raw brute force must have 
been the dominating economic factor. 

The influence of Skill during this 
period was practically negligible, ex- 
cept in so far as it affected indi- 
viduals. Of this the huge prolonga- 
tion of the unchanging "Stone Age" 
is sufficient demonstration. 

Contest With Cunning. 

The gradual growth and rapid 
culmination of the Skill factor is 
an important consideration in our 
present inquiry and likewise in our 
Social Reconstruction problems. For 
while Purposive Skill is of slow de- 
velopment Purposive Cunning, on the 
contrary, is inherently otherwise. 
Indeed, Cunning and Purposiveness 
both imply mental alertness and 
hence are in some Wise synon- 

For these reasons, in the early 
stages of human development, raw 
strength and animal cunning must 
alone have contended to satisfy the 
other instinctive urges — to live, to 
control — practically uninfluenced by 
the relatively modern urge of Pur- 
poseful Skill. 

Doubtless this simple conflict (of 
raw strength and brute cunning) 
waged with varying results, slowly 
oscillating, age by age and race by 
race, in favor of one or other human 
type as environmental conditions or 
racial admixtures gave one or other 
the advantage of circumstance. 

And, as Economics implies: the 
usages, laws, and institutions where- 
by a community endeavors to or- 
ganize its methods and means of 
living: those whose activities char- 
acterize the times initiate and ad- 
minister its economics. 

Age-Long See-Saw. 

So, with these age-long oscilla- 
tions of control types, economic in- 
stitutions necessarily underwent like 
changes, conforming to the dom- 
inating human characteristics of each 

Age and Nation. That they did so 
oscillate and economically conform, 
in the vaguest dawn of human be- 
ginnings, is the teaching of archae- 

During the past few thousand years 
the contest of Strength and Cun- 
ning is shown by reliable historical 
records to have oscillated with com- 
parative rapidity between one and 
the other extreme — including consid- 
erable periods during which Strength 
and Cunning unified control by 
union of Church and State. 

Prior to the immediate present was 
a transition stage caused by the 
gradual weakening of the bond be- 
tween Church and State, with a 
coincidental shifting of control in 
favor of Cunning (under a changed 
and relatively modern guise repre- 
senting the instinctive Urge to 
Take) expressing itself as Commer- 
cialism. With this change came a 
consequent modification of usages, 
laws, and institutions appropriate to 
its highest expression — Capitalism — 
capitalistic economics. The result of 
this last oscillation of control in 
favor of (acquisitive) Cunning was 
that Germany became a nation of 
slaves, England a nation of paupers, 
France quit breeding, and the United 
States went wealth crazy! 

Challenge by Purposive Skill. 

The war represents the conclusive 
termination (in this period) of the 
age-long contest of Force and Cun- 
ning — for the control of men, and 
the products of their activity. 

But this last and most spectacular 
conflict is complicated by the intru- 
sion of the most modern and most 
rapidly developing factor — Organized 
Purposive Skill. 

Here, then, Skill enters the arena 
with a challenge to both earlier con- 
testants — for the prize of human 
control, and mastery of the social 
machinery; enters that contest — older 
than the race itself — the struggle to 
satisfy the primordial instincts: to 
Live — to Control — to Take. 

Strength vs. Cunning vs. Skill. 
Thus the contest has become a 
triangular fight between the Strong, 
the Cunning, and the Skilful; a fight 


in which raw brute force is a par- 
ticipant of rapidly diminishing im- 
portance — a modified continuation of 
the old time bloody contest, for a 
humanly undesirable outcome. 

Cunning-control is today the vic- 
tor, and in possession of the spoils — 
the financial wealth of the world. 
But all the evidence points to a 
short enjoyment and a losing fight 
against the organized forces of Pur- 
poseful Skill. 

Creaking Capitalism Cracking. 

Capitalism — under war stress — 
shows convincing evidence of in- 
adequacy. The non-effectiveness of 
money and credit wealth has be- 
come so obvious as to procure the 
enactment of "Work or Fight" laws. 
Thus, into the discard went our pre- 
war money evaluation of men to be 
substituted by a standard which 
measures millionaire and hobo alike 
in accordance with their relative 

Our pre-war faith in the mysteri- 
ous Magic of Money too received a 
staggering shock when all the pri- 
vate fortunes enmassed and all the 
billions of national credit combined 
utterly failed to add a single pound 
of much needed sugar to our limited 
supply, necessitating the "two pounds 
of sugar per person" apportionment 
— a commonplace vulgar fraction 
measure applicable to Financial 
Potentate and Weary Willie — alike! 

Producer Versus Parasite. 

On broader lines also the evidence 
points the same way: purposive skill is 
inherently productive, while purpose- 
ful cunning is naturally parasitic. 
Then, the capability of cunning to 
rule, and the continuance of its suc- 
cess in controlling others, resides in 
and depends upon the stupidity and il- 
literacy of the governed: mystery and 
magic are its weapons — equally in the 
realm of modern Finance as in the 
ancient Theocracies. 

Skill implies the reverse of all this, 
for skill is intelligence physically 
manifested. It is knowledge of Na- 
ture's Laws utilized dexterously — and 
the spread of scientific information 
characterizes our age. Thus as the 
bulwarks of cunning-control crumble, 

the weapons of skill are multiplied and 

So the outcome seems a foregone 

With this outcome, our methods 
of life will necessarily change. Capi- 
talistic customs, laws, and institutions 
will be substituted by others differing 
as widely from those with which we 
are familiar as the motor ideas and 
ideals of purposeful cunning differ 
from those of purposeful skill. 

"Work or Fight" Lesson. 

Peradventure, the "Work or Fight" 
and the "2 pounds of sugar per per- 
son" measures are tonic foretastes of 
the coming Skill-Economics. 

Obviously we are in transition to a 
new social order. 

The signs of the times portend the 
dethroning of decadent acquisitive 
capitalism and the crowning of pro- 
ductive skill—Autocrat of the new 
Age — Artizanism. 

This change has been in dubious 
process for years; the War has merely 
speeded its progress and made the 
outcome practically inevitable. But, 
whether it be brought about by evolu- 
tion or revolution, or whether it comes 
in clean-cut aspect or befogged by ir- 
relevant social factors and forces, it 
is in no sense a rational or final so- 
lution of our "social problem." 

In any event, should Artizanism 
come, it will be merely another social 
spasm, probably shorter than, but 
equally as futile as, our present world- 
wide finance madness. 

Instincts Not A Rational Basis. 

While it is conceivable that human , 
societies could be organized upon and 
with any one of the stated basic In- 
stincts as dominant factor and 
raison d'etre; it is practically certain 
that any such national society would 
be quite ineffective, and transient. For 
obviously it would not and could not 
satisfy even our present limited intel- 
ligence, our rational imagination, or 
our modern spiritual ideals. 

No very extended analysis would be 
required to show the validity of this 
proposition. The past has already 
demonstrated the insufficiency of so- 
stinct — Autocracy. The present amply 
cieti'es based upon the Mastery In- 


proves the failure of the Acquisitive 
Instinct as a social basis — Plutocracy. 
A moment's thought will show that 
a society based upon the Making In- 
stinct would simply crumble in its 
formative process under the demands 
of our complicated modern mental 
make-up, for clearly this instinct pro- 
vides inadequate Human scope — and 
hence presupposes parasitism in even 
more extended form than that of ac- 
quisitive Capitalism. And — worse 
than all — a society based upon the In- 
stinct to Live and Propagate, would 
return us at once to the brute state 
from which we have arisen through 
ages of struggle, strife, and bloodshed. 

Control Without Control. 

Still, it is apparent that the basic 
instincts which urge "to live," "to 
make," "to take," "to control," are as 
useful, yes, are as essential in and to 
modern social life as they have been 
in all the past. But, while all are 
necessary, no one of them constitutes 
a proper basis — law of operation — for 
a rational human society organization. 
They are factors, necessary and desir- 
able contributary parts, no one of 
which is inherently adapted to func- 
tion as the machine's unifier, its strain 
and speed equalizer — its control ele- 

Thus, the determination of a suit- 
able character of "control" element is 
seemingly the crux of our social prob- 
lem; the problem of controlling with- 
out control, that old, old paradox: 
Freedom made effective by restraint — 
a paradox, however, which the war 
. may have resolved for us, by demon- 
strating its non-existence. 

It has, in somewise, answered our 
troublous question by clear definition 
in the statement of the Nation's ob- 
ject in going to war. 

The war has answered the question, 
in another aspect, by the Nation's 
adoption of the method (forced upon 
it by logical compulsion) whereby 
success was achieved. 

"To make the World safe for De- 
mocracy" is the clearest and most uni- 
versally accepted statement of our 
purpose in going to war — Self-govern- 
ment for Nations, Self-government for 

Concept of Control. 

Control by others, then, is antitheti- 
cal to the ideals for which we have 
waged this last, the greatest, and, 
it is hoped, the final bloody contest for 

Control is equally antithetical to our 
[deals of Self-government whether the 
control is exercised by "others" char- 
acterized by the Instinct to live and 
breed — the Masses; or whether the 
control is exercised by "others" char- 
acterized by the Instinct to Make — 
the Skilled Artizan; or whether the 
control is exercised by "others" urged 
by the Instinct of Mastery — the Em- 
ployers; or whether the control is ex- 
ercised by "others" under their domi- 
nating Acquisitive Instinct — the 

Indeed, the concept: control by 
"others," is an idea inherent in and 
appropriate only to now discredited 
Autocracy — a concept which the War 
has rendered an obsolete ideal — if we 
are yet intelligent enough to profit 
by its costly teaching. 

Discard Cave-Man Control. 

To be rationally consistent this 
"control" concept should be as ab- 
sent as it is obsolete (in fact and 
effect) in our inevitable reconstruc- 

This Autocracy "control" concept 
must be thrown in the discard where 
we have dumped the European auto- 
crats whose ideal it was — if our recon- 
struction efforts are intended to pro- 
duce a rationally organized Modern 
Human Society; a Society founded up- 
on the Ideals consecrated by the life 
blood of our bravest and best. 

But our age-long familiarity with 
"control by others," in our halting 
progress, from brute beast to modern 
Man, has so deeply ingrained in our 
mental fiber this stone-age concept as 
to make it almost impossible for us 
to even conceive the idea of a society 
lacking this cave-man spiked-club 

Yet, no fact and lesson of our par- 
ticipation in the War is more clear 
and free from doubt than the spon- 
taneous acquiescence by the people of 
the United States — rich and poor, arti- 
zan and laborer, alike — in self-control,' 
self-repression, self-dedication to the 


united will and unified purpose of the 


No lesson of the War is more 
significant than: Given a National 
Purpose, intelligently comprehended 
and acquiesced in — only unselfish 
Leadership is needed, and neither 
control by force nor control by 
cunning is necessary to bring about 
the unification of effort needed to 
accomplish the Nation's Objective. 

The significance of this lesson is 
the utter irrationality of national 
control in the hands of any class 
characterized by self-centered in- 
stincts, or that strength or skill or 
cunning should be dominating fac- 
tors in the social structure. 

Though none of these factors 
should dominate, each and all of 
these vital and necessary elements 
should have free scope for the so- 
cially effective outflow of its 
particular expression of life energy. 

Second only in significance to the 
acquiescence and co-operation of the 
united people is the method irre- 
sistibly forced upon the Nation by 
the logic and necessities of its stu- 
pendous War problem. 

First Real Nation. 

This most modern economic in- 
stitution, and the unified co-opera- 
tion of the united people, are the 
two outstanding lessons of the War 
for us. 

Taken together, they point sig- 
nificantly to the solution of our 
social problem — the lacking element 
which should and could consciously, 
deliberately, and rationally unify the 
basic instinctive urges into an har- 
monious direction of national effort 
and so produce a humanly efficient 
national organization — the first real 
Nation on earth! 

The lacking element? — the element 
which is adapted to assume the func- 
tion and position to be vacated by 
the obsolescent autocratic concept — 
arbitrary "control" — the element ca- 
pable of controlling without con- 
trol, of making Freedom effective, 
Democracy a living fact as well as 
a noble Ideal! 

In this, as in many other seem- 

ingly difficult problems of long 
standing, the solution has evaded us 
by reason of its very obviousness. 
Such a unifying factor has always 
existed in plain view — unutilized in 
its proper function of Social Strain 
Equalizer. Indeed, this urge factor, 
more even than the Instincts — "to 
Live," "to Make," "to Take," "to 
Control" — is the most universal and 
most humanly characterizing trait of 
that most marvelous complex — Man. 

Desire to Know. 

I refer to Curiosity — curiosity ra- 
tionalized into Desire to Know. 

Desire to Know, while equally 
urgent for gratification, inherently 
lacks the undesirable and inappro- 
priate qualities which render the 
other human Instincts unsuitable as 
organizing and strain equalizing fac- 
tors in the social structure. Also it 
possesses qualities and attributes 
which make it peculiarly adapted to 
perform the rationally harmonizing 
function so irrationally assumed in 
all earlier social organizations under 
the guise of Forceful and Cunning 

Desire to Know is as imperative 
in its demands as any of the self- 
centered motor Instincts — to live, to 
make, to take, to control — but it is 
impersonal; while it is as aggressive 
as other Instinctive Urges, charac- 
teristically its energies and activities 
are directed at Nature, not in ag- 
gression on human opponents; hence 
it engenders no human strife; and 
while it drives furiously, it drives 
none but its possessor — in the pur- 
suit of Knowledge. 

Desire to Know, while profoundly 
interested in all that pertains to 
Human Life and living — to eugenics 
and racial development — character- 
istically its possessor would risk his 
own life in the pursuit of Knowledge. 

Desire to Know, though urgently 
interested in Nature's Laws and in 
all that concerns the correct making 
and constructing of things, charac- 
teristically lacks desire to make or 
construct things, but seeks only sys- 
tematized concepts of Knowledge. 

Desire to Know, while deeply in- 
terested in all that pertains to the 
desirable things of the world and to 


economic affairs, characteristically 
lacks the thievish impulse — the In- 
stinct to Take, to acquire _ physical 
possession: supremely acquisitive it 
craves only to acquire Knowledge. 

Desire to Know, while surpass- 
ingly Masterful, desires no mastery 
of Men; it craves instead, God-like 
insight, pre-vision, prophecy—power 
in the boundless realms of Knowl- 


Here then is an indomitable Urge 
lacking all the inappropriate qualities 
of the strife producing Autocratic 
Force-and-Fear Control motor con- 
cept of Social Organization, and 
possessed of all the unifying quali- 
ties of Social Leadership. 

A Human Society or Nation is 
sanely designed and rationally or- 
ganized on correct principles only 
when it has a Purpose, and (as in 
the case of a well considered ma- 
chine) only when full cognizance is 
taken of all its contributory elements, 
together with their essential func- 
tions and their proper co-ordination. 

A National Objective. 

A truly efficient National Organi- 
zation would facilitate (not suppress 
or prohibit) the expression of all 
inherent Instinctive Urges, rational- 
izing their outflowing life energy 
(by sane institutional conventions) 
into unification in a fully pre- 
determined National Purpose. 

In a crude but clearly perceptible 
manner the United States, during the 

War, gave suggestion of such an 
Ideal Social Arrangement. 

It had a defined and universally 
accepted purpose: 

Its Scientific (Desire to Know) 
Men and its Scientific Societies were 
(more or less) organized into a Uni- 
fying and Advisory Board to formu- 
late and suggest methods and means 
for sane living and — to accomplish 
the predetermined purpose of the Na- 

We have accomplished the object 
of the W T ar: 

We have made the World safe for 

Now, let us inaugurate a Demo- 
cracy — a Democracy with an object 
for its existence — a Democracy with 
a Purpose. 

By the peril to its life, the Nation 
has been shocked into momentary 
sanity. Let us while still rational, 
rationally take to heart the lessons 
which the War has taught at so 
staggering a cost: 

First: The need of a National 
Purpose; a purpose based upon peace 
and rational Human Development; 
a purpose as inspiring and as unify- 
ing as War for Democracy, and as 
high as our highest Ideals of Life. 

Second: The need of a Supreme 
National Council of Scientists — 
supreme over all other National In- 
stitutions — to advise and instruct us 
how best to Live, and how most effi- 
ciently to realize our Individual and 
our National Purpose and Ideals. 

But, First and Last, a unifying Na- 
tional Objective. 

Fernwald, Berkeley, December, 1918. 




National Industrial Management. 

Practical Suggestions for National Reconstruction. 

By William Henry Smyth 

NOTE: — After outlining and characterizing the great economic drifts 
in the national developments of the past, the author declares that during 
the period of war the United States has developed the new form in gov- 
ernment for which there is no precedent in human experience. He calls 
this "Technocracy" — the organizing, co-ordinating and directing through 
industrial management on a nation-wide scale of the scientific knowledge 
and practical skill of all the people who could contribute to the accomplish- 
ment of a great national purpose. Carry this new form of government into 
the days of peace and we will have industrial democracy — a new common- 
wealth. — Editor. 

Economic Drifts. 

The United States is obviously in 
social flux, in unstable economic equili- 
brium — in transition. Customs and 
usages which a few years ago received 
universal approval and legal sanction 
are now punished as crimes. Eco- 
nomic expedients which but yester- 
day were deemed irrational imagina- 
tions of Utopian visionaries are today 
accomplished facts. And in every di- 
rection immemorial methods and time 
honored social processes have lost 
their sacrosanctily. 

Like ocean streams enfolding in 
mass-flow all this whirling confusion 
of economic cross-currents, legal revo- 
lutions, and social agitations, there are 
to be observed certain super-control- 
ling drifts. 

Centralization of Government. 

Concentration of Wealth. 

Unification of Mechanical Industries. 

Force, Wealth, Industry. 
These great economic drifts indi- 
cate the mass resultant of myriad in- 
dividual activities expressing that pe- 
culiarly human quality which has made 
man the dominating animal factor on 
earth — unquenchable desire to con- 
trol — the Mastery Instinct. And what 
is more important in the present con- 
nection, these super-controlling social 
drifts also indicate the only directions 
possible for the social expression of 
this indomitable human urge: 

Direct control of men by force and 
fear — exemplified in Centralization of 
Government; indirect control of men 
by controlling their products — shown 
in Concentration of Wealth; mutual- 
ized control (i. e., utilization) of Na- 
ture — expressed in Unification of Me- 
chanistic Industries. 

Conflicting Ideals. 

In these various forms of social ag- 
gregations there are, broadly speak- 
ing, but three human types involved: 

The type characterized by aggres- 
sive physical strength; the type char- 
acterized by alert mental cunning; the 
type characterized by purposive skill. 

Of these the last — the purposive 
skill type — is significantly modern, 
brought into social prominence by 
that most stupendous social factor, 
experimental science, science which is 
the effective cause and basis of this 
era of invention — our industrial age. 

A triangular conflict of ideals of life 
and of social purpose has thus been 
inaugurated; a conflict which ac- 
counts for and is expressed in 
our "social unrest," "conflict of 
capital and labor," our "social 
problem" and "reconstruction." The 
strife for supremacy of social ideal 
and community purpose thus indicat- 
ed, is co-extensive with the human 
race; its most spectacular climax is 
the World War. And notwithstand- 
ing the many confusing forms and 
many-sided aspects which this world- 


wide human struggle presents, it is, 
of course, at bottom the ages old con- 
test of Slavery and Liberty, Bondage 
and Freedom. 

The Golden Age? 

Our answer to this old but ever new 
problem will determine whether our 
industrial age will progress to a so- 
cial condition of individual freedom to 
which nothing in the past is compar- 
able, or whether our time shall be, to 
future generations, the Golden Age! — 
the highwater mark of human liberty 
— the age of a noble but a futile fight 
for a great ideal — Democracy. 

Club Economics. 

In simple cave-man times the boss- 
parent, quite naturally, made and ad- 
miaistcred suitable primitive eco- 
nomics — with his persuasive club as a 
very practical emblem of authority. 
Under this raw-force regime the 
weaker "fagged" for the stronger; and 
the doings and havings of the "fags" 
made life more likeable for the force- 

As the procreator of his subjects — 
and superior in strength during most 
of their lives — the "ownership" of 
them and theirs by the boss-parent 
was as "natural" as any other obvious 
fact; and chattel slavery as necessary 
as parent ownership is self-evident. 

Mystery Economics. 

Then, Miracle-Fire-Maker and Ani- 
mal Breeder came along, and dis- 
turbed many of the time honored and 
well established customs — playing 
havoc generally with club-economics. 
By his wonder working magics cun- 
ning Miracle-worker put the fear of 
gods (more potent than physical 
strength) into the heart of simple old 
skull-cracker parent-god. So Miracle- 
worker waxed fat, and in his turn 
initiated and administered suitable 
economics — fire worship and mystery- 
economics, otherwise Theocracy. 

With theocracy came the greatest 
of all social revolutions; the dethron- 
ing of brute strength and the crown- 
ing of mental alertness — Cunning. 
This marked an epoch in human his- 
tory, in man's upward progress as 
a social animal. Also it marked the 
beginning of control of men (and their 
products) through man's instinctive 

fear of the unknown — the Rule of the 

With varying fortunes force-eco- 
nomics and cunning-economics con- 
tended for supremacy till in compara- 
tively modern times autocracy was 
found an effective compromise. In this 
most practical arrangement, the (by 
that time conventionalized) parent- 
god received his authority from the 
All-powerful God-of-Magic. So was 
initiated modernized force-mystery- 
economics. And the human race has 
as yet found no more efficient means 
for the control of organized society 
than force-mystery-economics; meth- 
ods, means, and institutions which, but 
superficially modified since old Miracle 
worker's day, still function in our 
twentieth century (autocratic and 
democratic) customs, usages, conven- 
tions, and legalized economic systems. 


In cave-man economics, the real 
function of the club or the purpose 
of Club-er was not to incapacitate 
Club-ee, but to induce the latter to do 
and supply the matters and things 
which otherwise would require greater 
and more constant expenditure of ef- 
fort on the part of the economist, than 
the semi-occasional swing of his skull- 

Old Skull-cracker's motives (though 
more crudely expressed) were the 
same as mine are, in the employment 
of my cook and my gardener, that is 
economy of effort on my part; other- 
wise working-by-proxy. 

But the club-economic-system was 
essentially wasteful and inefficient; its 
operating expenses were outrageously 
high, notwithstanding the low cost of 
raw (human) material. Indeed, the 
system was apt to defeat its own ends, 
especially in those strenuous days, 
when zeal commonly outran discre- 

Doers and Suppliers. 

Thus mystery-coercion represents 
an enormous economic advance over 
raw physical force. Fear of unknown 
but awesome consequences for failure 
to do and supply matters and things is 
fully as effective as the club — and be- 


yond measure less wasteful of Doers 
and Suppliers. 

So it is quite natural and inevitable 
that crude force methods and pro- 
cesses of economic control should 
lose favor in competition with mystery 
economic systems. And long race ex- 
perience has proved that a judicious 
combination of club and mystery 
(otherwise force and cunning) makes 
for the highest degree of efficiency in 
a Working-by-Proxy economic sys- 


Such economic systems, however, 
obviously imply direct or indirect 
slavery — ownership of the body or 
control of the mind of the proxy. And 
for the latter the mystery method is 
peculiarly adapted and most satisfac- 

For self-evident reasons, control 
over another's mind is more effective 
and economical than property owner- 
ship of his body, taking into con- 
sideration the practical responsibility 
which the latter entails. So quite na- 
turally, direct ownership of Proxy by 
the economical Worker-by-proxy gives 
place to customs, usages, and conven- 
tions (economics), facilitating control 
over the results of Proxy's activities. 

Then, too, complex division of labor 
and specialization render chattel slav- 
ery impractical, indeed unworkable, in 
a society highly organized for pro- 
ductive industry. So an ideal work- 
ing-by-proxy economic system would 
permit complete physical liberty to do 
and to make, while arranging appro- 
priate usages, customs, and laws which 
automatically transfer ownership of 
the matters and things done and made, 
from the doers and makers to the 

Economic Science? 
The difference between modern and 
primordial economics is not in idea or 
purpose, but only in added obscurity 
of method and in greater complexity 
of detail. Incidentally, also, it has be- 
come evident that "economics" is not 
a "science" in any proper sense, but 
a variable system of community us- 
ages intended to facilitate the pre- 
dominating social activities. And, 
hence, to be workable an "economic 
system" must be in keeping with the 

activities which characterize the times. 
In cave-man times, the boss-parent 
and his club-men had to make cave- 
economics. A system initiated by the 
"fags" would have been obviously un- 
workable. The priesthood had to 
initiate and administer theocratic eco- 
nomics. And so on, through the 
various changes in social organization: 
Those whose activities characterize 
the times must initiate and administer 
its economics. 

Economic Experiments. 

Raw force has been relegated to 
the economic backwoods — to the 
racially infantile tribes of darkest 
Africa, and to the social usages of 
our anachronistic "criminal elements," 
the yegg, the thug, the gun-fighter, 
the strong-arm gangs of the under- 
world of modern organized society. 

Theocracy, with its crude cunning, 
its childish terrors and its dazzling 
promises of future (super-mundane) 
rewards, has practically vanished as a 
recognized dominant social factor — a 
fading shadow of ancient greatness. 

Autocracy, that cunning combination 
of force and fear economics, has just 
now been dumped into the scrap-heap 
of out-worn social expedients, at the 
cost of the most atrocious and blood- 
iest of all wars, and the flower of the 
World's Manhood. 

Plutocracy, with its autocratic capi- 
talistic economics (while weakened 
and shaken by the shocks and stresses 
of the World War) is still a virile 
contestant for the throne of World 

Strength, Skill, Cunning. 

Economics efficient for autocracy 
must necessarily differ from eco- 
nomics appropriate to theocracy; and 
these would differ from economics 
suitable for plutocracy; and these 
again would differ still more from 
economics appropriate to and efficient 
for Industrial Democracy. In brief: 
Force-economics, Cunning-economics, 
and Skill-economics must necessarily 
differ as widely as the essential dif- 
ferences between the basic qualities, 
Strength, Cunning, Skill. 

Hence any attempt to organize or 
"re-construct" a social aggregation 
with these three basic human traits 
as contemporary economic bases 



means sir.^ly continual social warfare; 
a war which, sooner or later, must be 
decided by victory for the Strong, the 
Cunning, or the Skilled — unless human 
ingenuity can devise a form of society 
which will permit and facilitate the 
full, unified, and socially useful expres- 
sion of these three irrepressible forms 
of life energy. -^. 

Mechanized Industry. 

Thus we return to the three great 
social drifts: 

Centralization of Government; 

Concentration of Wealth; 

Unification of Mechanistic Indus- 

Of the first two little need be said, 
for they are familiar racial experi- 
ences. But the last — the mechanizing 
of life — is quite otherwise; hence it is, 
if for no other reason, the most sig- 
nificant factor to be taken into account 
in the social problems with which we 
are now confronted — our problem of 
economic reconstruction. 

And, truly, our modern mechaniza- 
tion of human life is a most dubious 
social experiment — a danger-fraught 
development — a dynamitic racial ad- 

Modern Science. 

Back of the mechanizing of human 
functioning is that greatest of all mod- 
ern marvels — experimental science. 

Science has brought about a pro- 
found revolution in our mental atti- 
tude toward life, and in our methods 
of dealing with nature. It has swept 
into the discard practically all our pre- 
vious notions regarding ourselves and 
our relations to the laws of nature — 
to Universal Reality. It has, at the 
same time, debased man's pride in the 

dust of humility, and glorified intelli- 
gence and human worth to God-like 

Science is, of course, the effective 
cause of our present mechanistic de- 
velopment — with all its physical bene- 
fits and all its spiritual horrors; for 
science knows neither morals nor eth- 
ics, and is equally potent for social 
"bad" as for social "good." 

Science works just as effectively in 
criminal hands as in thos,^ of a saint. 
It is an impersonal, ethically neutral 
force and factor so potent that — even 
in the chaotic condition in which it 
now exists — it has brought about a 
world revolution in man's mental out- 
look and his physical activities, both 
individually and collectively. Indeed 
it has shown to man a new Heaven, 
a new Earth, and a new Hell. 

Our social Heaven we have yet to 
construct, but the World War is suf- 
ficiently impressive proof of what 
social Hell can be wrought by Science 
in the hands of self-interest. 

Past and Present. 

As the result of modern science, 
the present time is without precedent, 
hence no valid analogy exists or can 
be imagined between an economic 
system appropriate to our science- 
taught mechanistic age and earlier 
economic systems suitable to condi- 
tions of iife, the warp, woof, and pat- 
tern of which were Mystery, Magic, 

That no helpful comparison can be 
made between the past and the pres- 
ent would be completely true, were 
it not that our science teachings affect 
but the thinnest superficial layer of 
our conscious thinking, while the 

There is a serenity, a long view on the part of science, which seems 
to be of no age, but to carry human thought along from generation to 
generation, freed from the elements of passion. Every just mind must 
condemn those who so debase the studies of men in science as to 
use them against humanity and, therefore, it is part of your task and of 
ours to reclaim science from this disgrace, to show that she is devoted to 
the advancement and interest in humanity and not to its embarrass- 
ment and destruction. The spirit of science is a spirit of seeking after 
truth so far as the truth is ready to be applied to human circum- 

From President Wilson's address before the Academy of Lincei in 



fabric of our thought processes, our 
familiar customs, our current usages, 
our economic institutions remain prac- 
tically unchanged — our racial heritage. 
But, even so, the unceasing con- 
flict of past and present, of slavery 
and freedom, of bondage and liberty, 
of error and truth., goes ever on and 
on — a blood soaked path; a path of 
misery, strife and disappointment, 
though hopefully ever upward toward 
our ideal — Industrial Democracy with 
personal freedom for Self-realization. 

Mental Inertia. 
Without a concurrent change of 
economic institutions appropriate to 
the amazingly rapid psychical devel- 
opment and refinement of our modern 
ideals — brought about by the advent* 
of science — the realization of these 
ideals will be impossible. And sorrow- 
fully we recognize that man's instinc- 
tive resistance to change of eld estab- 
lished modes of thought— howsoever 
irrational — makes progress in this di- 
rection seem almost hopeless. 

Familiar Fallacies. 

Most reluctantly are familiar fal- 
lacies relinquished, indeed, we hang 
on to them with irrational tenacity 
ages after their unworkable character 
has time and again been tragically 

As in our bodily functions and skele- 
tal frame there still persist the char- 
acteristics of our Saurian primordial 
ancestry, so ancient modes of thought 
live unnoted in our present day think- 
ing processes; and our social institu- 
tions represent the seemingly out- 
grown superstitions constituting 
man's mental heredity during every 
past age since the infancy of the 
human race. 

"Gott mit uns." 

Medievalism characterizes our sa- 
cred and secular institutions and 
energizes our customary actions. 
Demonology is practically as prev- 
alent as in the past; unnoted in 
ourselves but easily perceived in the 
"Gott mit uns" attitude of the 

We pray for health, heedless of 
nature's laws; we pray for long life 
while disregarding the simple rules 
of right living; we beseech forgive- 

ness of "sin" while making sin 
profitable by deliberate legal enact- 
ment. In a world filled to over- 
flowing with all good and humanly 
desirable things to be had for the 
striving, we economically steal from 
our industrious neighbors; like 
paupers we beg "God" for vicari- 
ously earned joys, for unearned 
prosperity, and for all other forms of 
undeserved "good fortune;" and like 
pert children we urge silly advice 
on our man-made Providence, for 
the conduct of common human af- 
faiis, which we are too lazy, too 
stupid, too self-indulgent to bring to 
desired outcome by our own effort. 

The God of Chance. 

Important departments of life and 
the distribution of the products of 
industry — trade, speculation, oppor- 
tunity, recreation — involve large ele- 
ments of "luck," for by grotesquely 
solemn "laws" the issues are left 
to the "God of Chance." Just pre- 
cisely as in the old days when mo- 
mentous matters were settled by the 
entrails of sacrificial animals. 

The killing of President McKinle^ 
by a madman "caused" the depre- 
ciation in the value of stocks to the 
extent of thousands of millions of 
dollars; the San Francisco calamity 
— which rendered half a million hu- 
man beings homeless — "made" for- 
tunes for the owners of and specu- 
lators in suburban property; the 
Titanic disaster threw a hundred 
millions of wealth (others' products) 
into the hands of a school-boy, and 
with it control over the lives ol 
thousands of human beings; and even 
the supreme tragedy of a World 
at War is the prolific "cause" of 
transforming hundreds of mediocre 
men into multi-millionaires — and 
hence into powerful social factors 


All this represents kindergarten 
thinking, primitive and childish _ as 
nursery prattle of prixies and fairies, 
Aladin's lamp, and all the other 
forms of Old World superstition and 
diabolism, worthy only of the in- 
fancy of the race. 

Were it not that these grotes- 
queries characterize our "economic 



and finance system" and our solemn 
Professors soberly teach them, they 
would be utterly incredible in this 
Age of Science and Mechanics. 

But, as already indicated, our "eco- 
nomics and finance" are merely sur- 
vivals from pre-science times; an in- 
heritance from the days of wizardry 
and witchcraft, mystery and magic. 

Our quaint "economics" and queer 
"finance" are as anachronistic, as 
inconsistent, and as ineffective in this 
Mechanical Age of Industrialism, as 
astrology would be in an astrono- 
mical observatory, alchemy in a 
chemical laboratory or "perpetual mo- 
tion" in a machine shop. 

Scientific Foresight. 

Imagination based on science en- 
ables us to foresee the oak in the 
acorn — coming events latent in pres- 
ent happenings. But so strong is 
custom, so firm is the grip of the 
past, so compelling is the obses- 
sion of ancient superstitions, that — 
with all our lately acquired capa- 
bility for rational scientific thinking 
— only the tragedy of the accom- 
plished fact has sufficient power to 
jolt our sluggard wits into momen- 
tary activity. 

Ten, fifteen, yes, twenty-five years 
ago, it required no more intelligence 
to foresee the present war than to 
anticipate a crop in the Fall from 
seed sown in the Spring. 

Even less scientific imagination is 
now needed to foretell a condition 
of social disintegration, one more wide- 
spread and disastrous than the War, 
as the logical and inevitable outcome 
of our irrational and antiquated so- 
cial conventions — our "economic and 
financial system." 

Taking Instinct. 

If taking — by force or diverting by 
cunning, in whole or in part — the 
product of another's effort, without 
adequate equitable return, be accept- 
ed as a valid social principle of 
action between individuals, it must 
be equally good and proper as be- 
tween social groups, as between na- 

But however disguised in smooth 
sounding phrases — the "chances of 
business," the "profits of trade," 
the "opportunity of others' misfor- 

tune," the "prize of the victor," the 
"fortunes of war," the "right of 
might" — taking expresses the par- 
asitic and predatory instincts. And, 
called by whatsoever name or how- 
soever disguised, taking others' mak- 
ings by force, or diverting others' 
products by stealthy cunning, inevit- 
ably involves unending strife; strife 
within the group and recurring wars 
of nations — strife to settle the rela- 
tive strength or cunning as between 
individuals, and wars to determine 
the relative might of nations. 

Predatory Economics. 

Our "economic system" is essen- 
tially autocratic in means, in method, 
in objective. Being a left-over from 
an Age of Predatory Autocracy, 
necessarily its ideals are materialis- 
tic — its motor instinct and urge im- 
pulse being self-centered "greed and 
grab." Naturally its means are force 
and cunning and its methods are 
ruthless, for its object is power — 
power, irresponsible and absolute. 

Our Modern Ideals. 

If we are to remain true to our 
ideals — ideals which the flame of war 
has illumined to our normally pur- 
blind spiritual insight — our course 
is determined. We have no choice 
but to choose freedom: pioneer a 
virgin trail, slash a course unblazed 
by history, uncharted in race experi- 
ence — a courage testing National Ad- 

The race has never before been 
confronted with a situation in any 
way analogous to the one in which 
we now find ourselves, nor a prob- 
lem the like of that which we are 
now compelled to solve; yes, and 
solve correctly, if we would avoid 
distintegration into social chaos — 
overwhelmed by a science-made 

Science Is Dynamitic! 

Science has, however, put into our 
hands an instrumentality of such 
immeasurable potency, that, used 
with intelligent courage, we may con- 
quer all our difficulties, surmount all 
our social obstructions. 

But, Science left to chance, or in 
the hands of unintelligent self-interest, 



the chances are it will work untold 
social calamity. 

There are so many roads to go 
wrong, and only one way to go right. 

To leave a force and factor of 
such supreme social significance and 
potentiality as Science in its present 
condition — socially uncontrolled and 
unorganized for the commonweal — 
is more crassly unintelligent than to 
permit fused and capped dynamite to 
be scattered around promiscuously, 
to the chances of any carelessly or 
maliciously applied spark. 

(A striking and significant parallel- 
ism to the thought here expressed 
was subsequently voiced by Presi- 
dent Wilson in one of his speeches 
at the Versailles Peace Conference: 

"Is it not a startling circumstance, 
for one thing, that the quiet studies 
of men in laboratories, that the 
thoughtful developments which have 
taken place in quiet lecture rooms, 
have now been turned to the de- 
struction of civilization? 

"The enemy whom we have just 
overcome had at his seats of learning 
some of the principal centers of 
scientific study and discovery, and he 
used them in order to make de- 
struction sudden and complete; and 
only the watchful, continuous co-op- 
eration of men can see to it that 
science as well as armed men are 
kept within the harness of civiliza- 


In the rough, Democracy is the 
rule of the mob, the rule of the 
masses, the rule of the majority — the 
rule of un-intelligence. But even so, 
it is better than any form of govern- 
mental control based upon self-inter- 
est — not excepting "Beneficent Autoc- 

Humanly bad and socially ineffi- 
cient as it may be, and has been, De- 
mocracy alone encloses and fosters 
the living germ of freedom — self- gov- 

But, during the scant two years that 
we were at war, no ordinary or ac- 
cepted definition of Democracy could 
make that term descriptive of the 
United States; indeed, under the life 
threatening stress of a World War, 
•our great but chaotic nation — in self- 

preservation — ceased to be a Democ- 


In that remarkable war transfor- 
mation, we certainly did not become 
an Autocracy; even less so a Plutoc- 
racy; and least of all a Theocracy. In 
fact, during this thrillingly interesting 
time, the United States developed into 
a form of "Government" for which 
there is no precedent in human ex- 

National Industrial Management 
— Technocracy. 

The characterizing peculiarity which 
rendered our great country unique — 
during this period of national stress — 
and not only unique but uniquely ir- 
resistible, was the fact that we ra- 
tionally organized our National Indus- 
trial Management. We became, for 
the time being, a real Industrial Na- 

This we did by organizing and co- 
ordinating the Scientific Knowledge, 
the Technical Talent, the Practi- 
cal Skill and the Man Power of the 
entire Community: focusing them in 
the National Government, and apply- 
ing this Unified National Force to the 
accomplishment of a Unified National 

For this unique experiment in ra- 
tionalized Industrial Democracy I 
have coined the term "Technocracy." 

It was but an experiment — a forced 
one — to meet an exceptionally serious 
emergency; and like most other ex- 
perimental devices, it doubtless was 
far from perfect in many ways and 
details. Still, as it seems to me, it 
presented an important suggestion, the 
germ of a novel and significant idea — 
a pioneer idea in the ancient art of 


Until appropriate economic institu- 
tions and instrumentalities are avail- 
able, humanly effective Industrial De- 
mocracy must remain an unrealizable 
ideal, a theory unattainable as a work- 
a-day principle of social life, and for 
the efficient distribution of the pro- 
ducts of toil, upon which human life 

The practical working out of our 
present efforts in this direction, has so 



far only resulted in a frenzied scram- 
ble for wealth, place, power — a brut- 
ish-instinct-scramble, in which greed, 
cunning, and lust for human mastery 
are the urges; "dog-eat-dog" the 
"practical" ideal; and mystery, 
medievalis m, law-loaded-dice and 
chuck-a-luck instrumentalities the con- 
trolling factors. 

The Greedless Scientist. 

In this weird social (?) conglomera- 
tion how incongruous seems — and, in- 
deed, is— the greedless scientist, who 
seeks but to learn, to comprehend, and 
to co-ordinate the laws of nature; and 
who cares naught for human masterv. 
In this frenzied scramble for science- 
created wealth what earthly chance 
has its real creator — the scientist? 

Practically none! 

None, unless he sells himself into 
virtual slavery; unless he debauches 
his truth-seeking to the interest of 
those who — more "practical" — devote 
their energy and cunning to the "prac- 
tical" enterprise of gaining power by 
securing control of wealth. And yet, 
the United States is characteristically 
a nation of technologists — scientists, 
inventors, workers in and utilizers of 
the raw materials and the forces of 
nature. Not only are we instinctively 
mechanistic, but we are — by heritage, 
by force of circumstance, and by tra- 
dition — born lovers of personal free- 
dom. Freedom is our ideal — self- 

Prior to the War, our de-humaniz- 
ing ideal was Mechanistic Efficiency, 
under its soul-searching stress was 
born a Humanly Effective Nation. 

Our Costly Lesson. 

With all these considerations before 
us, and our fleeting glance at the pos- 
sibilities of socially unified skill, tech- 
nology, and science, how worse than 
foolish to revert to our pre-War "dog- 
eat-dog" practices and practical (?) 

Instead of so doing, would it not 
be well to take to heart the lessons 
forced upon us at so stupendous a 
cost of life and human misery? 

Would it not be wise statesmanship 
to experiment further on the lines of 
direction into Avliich we were forced 
by the compulsions and stresses of 

Reconstruction — With a National 

The War is over — won! 

We are now facing the — in reality — ■ 
more stupendous problems of social 

For the War, we enlisted, conscript- 
ed, commandeered all our men who by 
natural aptitude, and by personal in- 
clination, were adapted to the require- 
ments of war. We organized and co- 
ordinated them for the intended pur- 
pose; Ave trained and exercised their 
bodies and their minds to meet known 
and unknown trials; we energized 
their loyalty to the Flag — the Com- 
monweal; we stirred their personal de- 
votion to the Nation's ideals; we en- 
thused their wills to the accomplish- 
ment of the unified Will of the Nation 
— the National Objective. 

Rationalized Industrial Democracy. 

No need is there to speak of the 
result of this Unification of National 
Spirit and National Purpose — the War 
is over; won! — gloriously won! 

As we enlisted all those peculiarly 
adapted to the destructive functions 
of War, let us now systematically 
unify those peculiarly adapted to the 
constructive functions of Peace — our 
scientists, our technologists, our in- 
ventors, indeed, all who by natural 
aptitude and personal inclination are 
specially fitted to deal with the social 
and constructive problems of peaceful 
industry; nationally unify them and 
their accomplishments for the Com- 

Let us organize our scientists, 
our technologists, our exceptionallji 
skilled; let us commandeer, conscript, 
enlist, their loyalty, their devotion, 
their enthusiasm, their intelligence, 
their interest, their talents, their ac- 
complishments for the purposes of 
Peace and the realization of a Noble 
National Purpose. 

Let us rationalize our Industrial De- 

Public Service First. 

We are up against the problem of 
national reconstruction; let us not 
tinker with futile details — let us na- 
tionally Re-construct. 

Such a national co-ordination of 
Science and Technology, as is here 
suggested, would produce and consti- 



tute a living and Social life-giving Na- 
tional Reservoir of Science — practical 
and theoretical; a Technical Army de- 
voted to Peace and Construction. 

It would constitute a National Army, 
from which alone Private Interests 
could draw their needed scientific and 
technical personnel; personnel whose 
loyalty is primarily to the Common- 
weal—the Nation; the Nation of which 
they arc honored Public Servants. 

This is the exact reverse of our pres- 
ent unpatriotic, un-democratic order 
and organization. Yet, such an intim- 
ate, but subsidiary, relation to public 
service, as is suggested, would liberate 
not hamper individual energy and free- 
dom of private enterprise, for it would 
permit the free expression of self- 
interest unified in the commonweal. 
Also it would, without conflict, fa- 
cilitate the full and socially useful out- 
flow of the three vigorous forms of 
life energy — Strength, Skill, Cunning. 

Industrial Apex. 

From this co-ordinated Army of 
Science, Technology, and Skill should 
be selected (by a process of realized 
capability and recognized social worth) 
a representative and comprehensive 
National Council of Scientists as Man- 
aging Directors — our Supreme Social 

This National Council should be the 
apex of the Nation's Industrial Man- 
agement. It should constitute the 
Leadership of our thus rationalized 
Industrial Democracy. 


But this reconstruction — revolu- 
tionary as it doubtless will appear to 
many — is only preparation for our 
National Task. 

It would, indeed, make of us an or- 
ganized human aggregation — a unified 
social machine, capable of intelligent 
self-conscious national life; and then 
comes the question: 

For what worthy purpose have we 
constructed this huge highly organized 
Human Instrumentality? 

This problem a Nation — no less 
than an individual — unescapably faces, 
the instant it has become really self- 

It is the Nation's first, its final, its 
only problem — the final problem of 
human existence. 

And this all-important matter, every 
Nation (like every individual) must 
settle for itself — settle between itself 
and Universal Rationality: The ob- 
ject of the Nation's being; its con- 
scious rational purpose — its National 

Fernwald, Berkeley, January, 1919. 




Ways and Means 
To Gain Industrial Democracy. 

By William Henry Smyth 

NOTE: — In the two preceding essays Mr. Smyth forecasts a new form 
of government that he calls "Technocracy" — National Industrial Man- 
agement. This article discusses ways and means to develop, guide and di- 
rect purposive industrial democracy and so usher in a new commonwealth. 

The author suggests three practical thoughts for economic reconstruc- 
tion: That permitting chance to influence our lives and conditions means 
ignorance. That the flow of time is not reversible — the future cannot help 
the present. That cause and effect, not whim, is the law in nature's pro- 
cesses. — Editor. 

Social Structures. 

Democracy and Autocracy are the 
antitheses of social organization and 
express opposite underlying principles 
of human interaction. 

The structural details of any human 
contrivance — whether Mechanical or 
Sociological — must be in keeping with 
its underlying idea. Change in prin- 
ciple necessarily entails functional re- 
organization — reconstruction. 

Hence, ways and means that have 
proved effective for autocracy, or that 
long usage has shaped to facilitate 
its aims and outcomes, must needs be 
not only unworkable in, but subversive 
of, democracy. So it will be helpful 
in our quest to keep constantly and 
clearly in mind the differences be- 
tween these mutually exclusive no- 
tions of Government. 


Probably the most radical difference 
between 'these two forms of social 
structures is the assumed sources from 
which each gets its authority. 

Autocracy derives its powers from 
"God." This assumption pre-supposes 
inherent social distinctions between 
individuals — occult privileges con- 
ferred upon some to control the acts 
of others. But effectively to control 
acts makes requisite control of 
thoughts, for consecutive thought 
necessarily precedes purposive action. 

Thus Autocracy implies a "God- 
given" right of censorship over other 
men's physical and mental function- 
ing. Hence, it also pre-supposes the 

non-neutrality of Nature — cosmic- 
favoritism; for clearly nature's "God" 
could not look with favor upon dis- 
obedience or lack of submission to the 
mandates of His authorized agents. 

A social organization framed upon 
this general idea implies constructive 
details, i. e., customs, laws, institutions 
— economics — comprising: 

1. A Supreme Control element, de- 
riving its authority from and respon- 
sible only to a super-mundane source. 

2. Social instrumentalities to en- 
force obedience — physically coerce hu- 
man actions, and super-naturally con- 
trol men's thoughts. 

3. A descending series of conferred 
authority starting with the "God-ap- 
pointed Ruler" and ending with the 
popular "masses" void of rights. 

Thus the measure of efficiency in 
this social system is the absoluteness 
of control — completeness of en- 
forced obedience in act and subservi- 
ence in thought to the "God-inspired 
will" of the Autocrat and his Agents. 

Democracy derives its authority 
from Man. This pre-supposes general 
intelligence sufficient at least for self- 
conscious Individual wants and Mass 
purposes, with freedom for their pur- 
suit; thus it assumes super-mundane 
non-interference with human wants 
and purposes, and a rational Cosmic 
Order corresponding or co-ordinated 
to human intelligence in suchwise as 
to be knowable and responsive there- 

A social system based upon this gen- 



eral idea implies constructive details 
in consonance with: 

1. The neutrality of nature. 

2. Inherent individual rights flowing 
from the facts of rational human ex- 

3. Equality of individual rights. 
Thus the measure of efficiency in a 

Democracy is to be gaged by the com- 
pleteness of individual freedom of 
thought and liberty of action in rela- 
tion to eaeli other and of access to 
nature's stores, resources and forces — 
freedom and liberty being based upon 
rationality as determined by work- 
ability in the production of general 
human happiness, prosperity and op- 
portunity for self-development. 

Autocracy is based upon the idea 
of the essential manship (i. e. man- 
likeness) of "God" and the inher- 
ent unrighteousness — irrationality — of 

Democracy is based upon the idea 
of the essential God-ship (i. e. God- 
likeness) of Man and the inherent 
righteousness — rationality — of the Uni- 

Thus we get a clear concept of our 
chosen social Ideal, and from it indi- 
cations as to the character of means 
appropriate to or discordant therewith. 
In other words we have on broad lines, 
bases for rational economic conven- 
tions, adapted to make effective a so- 
cial system on the basic principles of 


Neither by mutual agreement, -nor 
by legal enactment, nor constitutional 
provision, nor even as a concession 
to ancient custom and universal con- 
sent may we make two units and two 
units constitute five units — being con- 
trary to the facts of nature. For pre- 
cisely the same reasons we cannot (by 
any or all of these social expedients) 
successfully adopt or retain economic 
devices at variance with the essential 
principles of Democracy. 

Industrial Democracy — Purpose. 

Autocracy and Democracy are both 
merely forms of human organization, 
group contrivances — social machines — 
built on different basic ideas or prin- 
ciples; machines to accomplish some- 

A Nation (no less than an individ- 
ual) that would build (or '"recon- 
struct") without first clearly deter- 
mining the purpose of the proposed 
structure, would be indulging in 
a foolish and futile waste of en- 
ergy. But what our national purpose 
is, is quite apart from the present in- 
quiry. And, indeed, it is not the prov- 
ince of an individual, but of consensus 
to determine the ultimate National Ob- 

Industrial Democracy. 

The people of the United States 
have, however, agreed and decided 
upon the idea of the National Or- 
ganization and its proximate charac- 
ter — Industrial Democracy. Or 
perhaps this outcome represents the 
resultant of choice and circumstance. 
Be that as it may, we are now con- 
sciously launched on a career of 
mechanistic Industrial Democracy; 
and the aim of the present inquiry 
is to investigate the functional con- 
sistency (appropriateness) of the 
working parts to the accepted prin- 
ciple of the National Social Machine. 

Neutral Nature. — 

The greatest and most consequence- 
breeding thought that has ever found 
lodgement in the human mind is the 
idea that: Nature is neutral toward 
Man and in regard to all Human con- 

The greatest and most conse- 
quential human discovery is': The 
Orderliness — rationality— of Nature. 

These two concepts are the mar- 
velously fruitful germs from which 
all modern Science has developed. 
And, as exact science — based upon 
experimental proof — owes its con- 
tinued development to machines of 
precision; it may with ultimate sig- 
nificance be said that our idea and 
Ideal of Human Liberty, self-govern- 
ment, as we today conceive it, is 
one of the many wonderful products 
of the machine shop — our Mechan- 
istic Industrialism. 

Motor Impulse of Autocracy. 

Man's soul is free, hence Rational 
Liberty is his social motor impulse. 

Clearly, with an anthropomorphic 
"God" interested in human wants, 
wishes, purposes, and projects, and 



with unlimited power and inclination 
to meddle in human concerns, to 
help or hinder, to make or mar them; 
human "freedom of thought" would 
be futile, and human "liberty of ac- 
tion" a farce. 

We have seen that the motor im- 
pulse of Autocracy is super-mundane 
in origin; its initiative is super- 
human; its means are mysterious 
occult powers derived from "above"; 
that privilege maintained by ruthless 
force and cunning is an essential 
element; and power absolute and 
humanly irresponsible is its objec- 

These factors therefore present 
some criteria wherewith to gauge 
the validity of present economic con- 
ventions; also to test their appropri- 
ateness in a Democracy,, the basis of 
which is human experience energized 
by individual human initiative; like- 
wise to measure their probable worth 
in a society in which the powers 
to do, and the opportunity to be, 
are derived from the consensus _ of 
free and equal human wills; wills 
subject to none, but co-operating to 
facilitate individual and mutual pur- 
poses — purposes socially unified in 
the purposive National Will. 

Nature Non-Ethicalr 
In the light of Modern Science, 
human experience shows that Na- 
ture's dealings with Man carry no 
more moral or ethical significance 
than id the problems of Practical 
Mechanics. Scientifically enlightened 
experience teaches that Humanity 
alone is ethical or takes account 
of motives: 

Impartially the sun warms and 
scorches, blesses or blasts; brings 
famine and plenty, life and death. 
The sea, the wind, earthquake and 
torrent, and all the forces of Nature 
build and destroy, with utter disre- 
gard to Man or his handiworks, his 
hopes or his faiths, his motives or 
his morals. The wondrous mechan- 
ism of Creative Evolution performs its 
myriad functions no less oblivious to 
Man's existence than are the ponder- 
ous machines of Man's own devising. 
Nature, like them, fosters or over- 
whelms with heedless indifference; 
ruthless, pitiless, appalling to ignor- 
ance, error, and fear; but helpful, in- 

dulgent, obedient to knowledge, 
intelligence and courage; neither 
kind nor cruel, nor good, nor bad — 


In the past, with childlike faith we 
have relied for support and guidance 
in human affairs upon the assumed 
beneficence of occult Powers. Upon 
this basis, Autocracy is the only con- 
ceivable form of social organization. 

Yet, the autocratic idea and Ideal 
has proven, (in the opinion of many), 
to be a disastrous failure under mod- 
ern conditions; and we in the United 
States have decided to try its 
antithesis — Democracy. 

But while discarding the old for 
the new Ideal, we have, most illog- 
ically, retained — substantially un- 
changed — the effective conventions, 
the ways and means, of the old 

And now, with modern Science and 
Mechanics — hindered and hampered 
at all points by our futile and in- 
appropriate "Economic System" — we 
are fighting for National life and 
Democracy against efficiently or- 
ganized Autocracy. Not alone the 
Autocracy of organized military force 
but also the Autocracy of system- 
atized and unified financial Cunning. 

Thus the urgent need for scientific 
reconstruction of our whole social 
system is multiplied manyfold, if we 
are to rectify our past sins against 
reason and retrieve our pitiful social 

Modern Dependence on Machinery. 

The life of the ordinary modern 
man differs from that of all previous 
times in his peculiar dependence upon 
complicated machinery — machinery 
over which he exercises no personal 
control. The manifold activities 
which in past times depended upon 
individual muscular effort are now 
performed by prime movers and 
power driven machines, so that the 
individual man's work and effort is 
unmeaning and useless apart from 
these instrumentalities of life and 

Thus the United States is one huge 
mechanistic industrial workshop.. 

The organization of these com- 
plex, specialized, power-driven mech- 



anisnis and the sources of power and 
of the raw materials with and upon 
which they operate, together with 
the distribution of the output, are 
the functions of Scientific and Tech- 
nical Industrial Management. 

There should be, it would seem, 
no room or occasion in such an ar- 
rangement, for chance, mystery or 

Old Customs. 

That the average individual prefers 
old customs to new, helps to account 
for much that is strange in present 
conditions; but it fails to explain 
completely how it happens that 
occultism has been wholly banished 
from the Machine Shop — the Social 
Producing Element — and remains so 
conspicuously interwoven in out 
"Economics" — the Social Distributive 

It would seem that we are com- 
pelled to assume that our deep seated 
human instinct of self-interest is the 
controlling factor in maintaining this 
incongruous combination of Science 
and Occultism. 

It would seem that the cunning 
acquisitive instinct of certain excep- 
tionally alert minded men in the com- 
munity — taking advantage of the 
normal preference of the average man 
for old ways and customs, and his 
preoccupation in his favorite work- 
ings and doings — is employing these 
ancient and familiar, usages to befog 
and obscure the stealthy diversion of 
an undue proportion of the Commun- 
ity Product. 

If this be so, it should be interest- 
ing to glance at the ways and means, 
the prestidigitatorial bag-o-tricks by 
which it is accomplished. Later we 
will scrutinize them more closely and 
in greater detail. 

Money and Credit. 

The bases of Mechanics in all its 
simple and complex expressions are 
two commonplace elements — the 
Wedge and the Lever; the bases of 
our Economic and Financial System 
in all its curious manifestations are 
also two commonplace elements — 
"Money" and "Credit." 

Here the similarity ends. 

There is not on ordinary fourteen- 
year-old school boy in the United 

States but who knows and intelli- 
gently uses the wedge and lever; and 
there does not exist a Mechanical 
Expert who could reasonably ques- 
tion the practical accuracy of the 
boy's knowledge regarding these 
elements of mechanics. 

Under our present economic us- 
ages, customs and laws, each one of 
us — man, woman and child — is com- 
pelled, willy-nilly, to use daily and 
hourly some form of "money" and 
"credit"; and there is not in the world 
a man who understands either of 
these economic elements, as the 
boy knows the wedge and lever. 
Nor is there an Economic Specialist 
or Financial Expert whose attempted 
explanation of either "money" or 
"credit" (or the functions of either) 
whose supposed elucidation would 
not be ridiculed and controverted by 
a multitude of Economic and Mone- 
tary Experts of equal or greater au- 

The average man of affairs — Law- 
yer, Doctor, Editor, Tradesman, Mer- 
chant or Mechanic — freely admits his 
incapacity to understand the "mys- 
teries of finance," and frankly says: 
"I don't know a damn thing about 
it." Even Bankers and Brokers, 
Financiers and Economists, whose 
business it is to deal in and mani- 
pulate these most remarkable com- 
modities, will quite frequently make 
the same honest confession of ignor- 
ance. Indeed, the subject is common 
stock in the jokesmith's workshop. 

Mystery, Magic — Failure. 

In no other department of human 
interest is so much mystery, confu- 
sion and controversy regarding the 
basic "facts" and assumptions, except 
possibly institutional religion — which, 
avowedly, rests upon the miraculous 
and supernatural. Indeed, the paral- 
lelism between these two ancient ac- 
tivities is curiously complete. Both 
transcend human experience, and 
neither submits to the tests of Sci- 
ence — weighing, measuring, cause- 
and-effect experimental proof. 

Like our religious forms, our Eco- 
nomic System is hoary with age — a 
survival from ancient Babylonian cus- 



toms. It rests on assumptions un- 
sanctioned by science; its effects are 
causeless; the miraculous supersedes 
natural causation; mystery takes the 
place of human reason; and endless 
futurity is its heavenly storehouse of 
all humanly desirable things. 

A Thievish Process. 

From this miraculous store the 
"Wizard of Finance," with his wonder- 
working wand — "Credit" — filches back 
(for a slight present tangible con- 
sideration and without the owners' 
consent) the imagined products of 
imagined future toil of unborn gen- 
erations of workers — a doubly thievish 
process, as black in morals as in 


While supposedly representing life- 
less things (that wear out by use), 
"money" is conventionally endowed 
(by financial magic) with everlasting 
life, and also with life's unique func- 
tion — reproduction. So "M oney 
makes money" for ever and ever — 
for the Magician. 

Peace, super-abundance, and endless 
idleness — "retirement from business" — 
is "the Promised Land, flowing with 
milk and honey" of Economic Saint- 
hood — the earthly Heaven of "Fi- 

But . . ! Never was work 

more urgent nor idleness less com- 
mon; never was peace more scarce nor 
strife so universal; the labor of future 
generations has been crazily "mort- 
gaged" by thievish "economic" (!) 
conventions beyond all possibility of 
redemption (in spite of the fact that 
science and mechanics have multiplied 
manifold the effectiveness and produc- 
tiveness of present labor); and Man's 
present vocation is social suicide — the 
destruction of wealth and the slaugh- 
ter of his fellow men! 

A stupendous and tragic record of 
"Economic" folly and failure!. 

The Mechanic's Philosophy — Success. 
The "God" of our nursery tradi- 
tion has been banished from the Ma- 
chine Shop and the world of Me- 
chanics. The result of this courage- 
ous spiritual Declaration of Indepen- 
dence has been our "Conquest of Na- 

ture," our Age of Productive Indus- 

Seemingly a like rending of thought 

shackles, a similar breaking of mental 
prison bars, is needed in the realm of 

"Chance" Catastrophes. 

The "God of Chance" or "God's 
mysterious providence" — which per- 
mits the killing of a President by a 
madman; the obliteration of a great 
city by fire; the sinking of a huge pas- 
senger-ship in mid-ocean; and a 
world-war — are merely misleading 
euphemisms for human ignorance, 
human improvidence, and childish 
shirking of responsibility. 

Social conventions — our Economic 
and Financial system — which by 
"money magic" make these "chance" 
catastrophes into controlling factors 
in the distribution of the product of 
human effort, are simply tragic 
monuments to ignorant superstition, 
mental laziness, and criminal folly. 

Indeed, our whole "Economic Sys- 
tem" is so incredibly unscientific, 
so irrational, so utterly puerile, 
that, were it not for custom- 
induced mental myopia, its glaring 
absurdities would long ago have suf- 
ficed — without a world-war — to shock 
our moral sense and intelligence into 

When scientific imagination and 
knowledge of Nature's Laws are sub- 
stituted in our economics for chance, 
mystery, and magic; when the regu- 
lation of our Nation-wide industry is 
taken out of the hands of quib- 
b 1 i n g "lawyers", and nature's 
forces, resources, and the mechanical 
instrumentalities for their transforma- 
tion into human necessaries and de- 
sirables are no longer the play-things 
of money-juggling gamblers, and the 
products of Nature and Mechanic Arts 
no longer glut the instinctive craving 
of Acquisitive Cunning; when this 
economic childish irrationality is 
sanely substituted by organized 
Science, Technology, and specialized 
Skill co-ordinated in National Indus- 
trial Management, then will begin real 
civilization, the Age of Social Sanity, 
— Technocracy. 

"Chance" in Economics. 

A machine is certain in action and 



uniform in output, because scientific 
imagination has foreseen, and con- 
structive intelligence has provided for, 
the elimination of the "chance" ele- 

The forces which will devastate the 
results of man's industry, through the 
"natural" action of an uncontrolled 
torrential stream, (with equal uncon- 
cern) if scientifically directed, will 
make the same country-side teem with 
human happiness — but, not by 
"chance." In like manner, the same 
"natural" social forces which make 
poverty, wretchedness, and vice, will 
(with equal unconcern) produce the 
opposite results — but never by 

Human institutions founded upon 
"chance" merely express Man's brute- 
unintelligence. That our "Economic 
System" makes "chance" a controlling 
factor for the distribution of wealth, 
merely shows the persistence of ignor- 
ance and that old habits of thought 
are more compelling than modern in- 
telligence. To legalize "chance" delib- 
erately is to relinquish our Godlike 
control over the results of Nature's 
processes, and thus voluntarily enslave 
ourselves to ruthless Nature, and to 
abandon even our authority over the 
outcomes of our own actions. Hence, 
it would seem, that the first step to- 
ward a new and Rational Economics is 
a courageous declaration of our free- 
dom from tyranny of the insensate 
"God of Chance." 


When a Mechanic has decided upon 
an idea or principle as the basis of a 
proposed machine, he has exercised his 
rational freedom of choice. Regard- 
less of whether his choice is wise or 
not (in this decision) he has placed 
definite limits upon the range of sub- 
sequent selection in regard to detail 
instrumentalities. Indeed, he has en- 
tered into an implied contract — as- 
sumed a rational responsibility — to em- 
ploy only such means in the construc- 
tion of his machine as (in accord with 
"Universal Order) are appropriate to 
make effective his proposed mechanical 
contrivance; with failure as the pen- 
alty for wilful or ignorant error — 
breach of his implied contract. 

History demonstrates conclusively 
that races, nations, civilizations (equal- 

ly with individuals), are subject to the 
same rational limitations, are bound 
by the same responsibility, and incur 
the same penalty for wilful or ignorant 
error in exercising their human free- 
dom of choice. 

Out Last Warning! 

The practical difficulties of forestall- 
ing the hazards of birth, of death, and 
of disaster, are doubtless great, and 
the problem of eliminating the 
"chance" element from our economic 
system is a man-sized job — with a slim 
probability of complete success. But, 
it is reasonably certain, that, if courage 
to make the needed change is lacking, 
or if our intelligence is insufficient 
for the task, our social adventure in 
Democracy will prove a tragedy. And 
the world war is, I believe, our last 

Laisser Faire. 

Nor may we drift; laisser faire is 
lazy fear — cowardly re-submission to 
the dog-eat-dog jungle law, right-of 
might principle of Nature — and of Au- 
tocracy — from which our modern con- 
science has revolted. 

The Mechanic. 
While caution bids us pause and 
realize that Nature is ruthless in its 
punishment of ignorance and error, 
courage reminds us that Nature also is 
infinitely lavish in its rewards for 
knowledge and intelligence; and cour- 
age points to the Practical Mechanic 
as an exemplar and an object-lesson 
for the Social Constructor. 

Mechanic vs. Nature 

The Mechanic has courageously in- 
vaded Nature's guarded realm; has ac- 
cepted her "no quarter" terms; and 
has assumed complete responsibility 
for his revolt against all the ancient 
Occult Powers. 

He has tacitly assumed that "God" 
and "Nature" are supremely and pre- 
eminently self-sufficing; that these all- 
inclusive profundities utterly trans- 
cend the utmost limits of his acts or 
his art — that the "plans of God" and 
the Mechanic's problems cannot in 
anywise conflict. 

He predicates that "God" and "Na- 
ture" are limitlessly competent to care 
for their own infinite concerns; hence, 



that His problems involve only what 
the Mechanic wants, and not "the 
wants of God." In so far as concerns 
his art (and with reverence for Uni- 
versal Order, which makes his art pos- 
sible) the Mechanic, in effect, says: 
"This I will," "Thus I do." "I am 
the Earth-god of things, of matter, 
and of motion." 

The Mechanic's Achievements 

And how gloriously has the Me- 
chanic made good! 

Even the most most cursory survey 
of his accomplishments, in manufac- 
ture, in transportation, in communica- 
tion, in reclamation, in power utiliza- 
tion generally, staggers while it exalts 
the mind. 

Has he not with wheat and corn 
from Eastern steppe and Western 
prairie, and with fresh and wholesome 
meat from the Antipodes, fed the hun- 
gry workers of Europe; and brought 
from the four corners of the Earth 
materials for their needs, their uses, 
and their industries? Yes! And from 
the teeming estuaries of the North he 
has served the World's table with 
dainty fish, and with wine and oil and 
luscious fruit from the fertile valleys 
of the Pacific Slope. 

By his use of Nature's forces, he 
has immeasurably out-rivalled imag- 
ination's Magic Carpet, transporting 
by his mechanisms untold millions of 
work-weary families from cramped 
and life-worn areas to the free spaci- 
ousness of many wide scattered Edens 
of plenty, there to found Empires. 

And more, he has bound these 
broadcast settlements in bonds of mu- 
tual help with space-negating bands of 
steel and steam; and on the one-time 
pathless ocean he has marked out 
highways with light and life of swift- 
moving commerce, till, in the utter- 
most ends of the earth, friend greets 
friend as though but a mile from 
home. Seas no longer separate, nor 
continents divide, for Man now talks 
with Man as face to face across the 
soundless void. 

As with a broom, he has swept sul- 
len ocean back" to its deeps and bared 
Netherland's fertile plains; and wMi 
dvke, and mill, and pump he holds 
his prize secure from angry wave and 
wind and shifting sand. A nriz^ in- 
deed! — a rich and pro c <~>prous country 

of towns and villages, of farms and 
homesteads, all interlr~ed with road 
and rail and placid water-way; a hive 
of human industry — a kingdom 
snatched from ocean's grasp. 

In torrid Egypt, too, he has tamed 
the turgid Nile to flood the desert 
sands and made thereof a nation's 

He has moved mountains, split 
continents, harnessed Niagaras to his 
machines; subdued the land, triumph- 
ed over the sea, and now seeks do- 
minion of the air. 

And, East and West and North 
and South he has sluiced and swept 
with giant streams the high-piled 
gravels, and ript and smashed and 
ground to powder, fine as from the 
mills of the gods, mountains of 
crystalline quartz; and dredged, and 
plowed, and sifted the frozen Arctic 
tundra, to tear from reluctant Earth 
its golden treasure for counters 
wherewith to play Man's world-wide 
commerce game. 

The Economist's Failure. 
All this stupendous output of hu- 
man experience, human reason, hu- 
man industry — rivalling creation itself 
— is in startling contrast with our 
world-wide tragedy, the outcome of 
our world-wide economics. A con- 
trast doubly significant; significant 
in the entire absence of chance, of 
mystery, of magic from the work of 
the mechanic; and again as expres- 
sing the practical extremes of glori- 
ous success and of failure most tragic. 

Selective Rejection. 

The human mind, like the body, 
can advance only step by step, from 
the solid ground of the known and 
tested to the doubtful footing of the 
unfamiliar. Human progress is like 
adventuring through a morass of 
ignorance' toward a far-distant goal; 
with disaster the penalty for every 
false step. 

In the great adventure called "Hu- 
man Progress" the "Occult" has 
proved a will-o-the-wisp guide. 

Notwithstanding all the stupend- 
ous accomplishments which charac- 
terize productive industry and the 
present era as the Age of Mechanics, 
the process which has brought it all 
about, is the same step-by-step — 



proof by experiment — scientific 
method. We can think of the new 
and unknown only in terms of the 
old and familiar. 

Still errors detected and fallacies 
perceived arc guides for inventive 
synthesis — construction. 

Selection is but a process of in- 
verted rejection. So having deter- 
mined that our ideal social structure 
is the antithesis of the Autocratic idea, 
we may with confidence assume that 
the characteristic elements of Auto- 
cracy are inappropriate for our pur- 
pose. Thus by a process of (selec- 
tive) rejection we should arrive at 
economic expedients more in har- 
mony with our Social Ideal. 

Democracy vs. Anarchy. 

Universal Order is the key-note of 
modern Science; and upon this order- 
liness of Nature scientific thinking 
is based. Hence, the much abused 
phrases "human liberty" and "hu- 
man freedom" cannot imply anarchy 
or chaos, i. e. dis-order. 

Liberty means absence of irrational 

Freedom of thought can have but 
self-imposed limitations. 

Social Freedom simply means lib- 
erty for rational individual activity 
tending to the accomplishment of 
Community Purpose. 

National Self-determination. 

When a Nation — exercising its 
freedom of choice — discards Autoc- 
racy and selects Democracy as its 
social principle it cannot sucessfully 
retain the working elements of the 
discarded social organization. If it is 
to survive, it must adopt ways and 
means and methods of life in con- 
sonance with its chosen principle. 

Our Futile Experiment. 

The United States, like a novice 
in Mechanics, has seemingly under- 
taken the futile experiment of build- 
ing an Industrial Democracy out of 
the functional elements of Preda- 
tory Autocracy. The natural result is 
noise, friction and heat. And worse 
— a dangerously large proportion of 
our energy is wastefully expended 
in constant readjustment to keep the 
outfit running, and to prevent its 
pounding itself into scrap. Prac- 

tically the whole of our "Economic and 
Financial System" is a left-over from 
the days when absolutism and privilege 
were universally accepted ideas and 
ideals; and when magic-causation was 
an unquestioned "fact." Quite natur- 
ally our economic customs, conven- 
tions and laws are in keeping with 
these antiquated assumptions. Sub- 
stantially our "Economics" is a ves- 
tige, and as with other vestiges — like 
our vermiform appendix — it is now 
functionally useless, and frequently 
causes much unnecessary pain and 
trouble; which sooner or later may end 
in tragedy. 

Not All Bad. 

While, in the foregoing, there is no 
real cause for pessimism, there is even 
less reason for happy-go-lucky optim- 

Mentally reviewing this matter, 
there appear several implications 
which stand out clearly as definite 
practical suggestions for economic re- 

Suggestions for Reconstruction. 

First: That "chance" means ignor- 

The elimination of even the crudely 
obvious "chance" factors from our 
laws, customs and economic conven- 
tions, would do away with much rank 
injustice in our social functioning. 

Second: That the onward flow of 
time is not reversible — the future can- 
not help the present. 

A clear appreciation and practical 
application of this seemingly axiom- 
atic proposition would go far to rem- 
edy the grosser evils of capitalistic 
economics, and strip "money" and 
"credit" of their conventionally en- 
dowed time-reversing magic. 

In every physical human accom- 
plishment, there are involved but 
three factors or elements: raw Ma- 
terial (Nature's free gift); human 
Time; human Energy. Every product 
(food, clothing, housing, transporta- 
tion facilities, or what not), represents 
a definite amount of past human time 
and past human energy — gone beyond 
recall. Neither by ghostly hands nor 
by flibber-gib financial conventions can 
future work or future product be 
yanked back into the present, to be 
used for present purposes, or to meet 



gencies — even if self-re- 
spect and common honesty did not suf- 
fice to prevent such inexcusable cam- 
ouflaged robbery of the helpless, the 
quintessence of "taxation without rep- 

Third: That cause-and-effect, not 
whim, is the order of Nature's pro- 

Science shows us that, so far as Man 
is concerned, Nature is infinite poten- 
tialities; potentialities realizable in 
terms of individual and collective pur- 
poses. We cap. if we will- — providing 
our aims and objectives are in accord 
(lie Rational Order of Nature. 

It is only in purposive action that 
n freedom — self-determination — 
is expressed. 

An aimless man or a purposeless 
"nation" is an equally insignificant 
Lent of raw material in Nature's 
Evolutionary and Devolutionary pro- 
cesses. But, knowledge of Nature and 
of Nature's Laws co-ordinated by Hu- 

man Intelligence in rationally purpos- 
ive actions, have all of Nature's in- 
finite potentialities and stupendous 
forces as tools to facilitate accom- 

Purposive Co-ordination. 

Obviously the control of our Great 
National Workshop — the United States 
— should not be in the hands 
of selfish Mr.' Acquisitive Cunning — 
"who knows the price of everything 
and the value of nothing" — facile only 
in getting something for nothing — and 
whose highest social ideal is: "To buy 
cheap and sell dear"; but — in reason, 
in common horse sense! — our purpos- 
ive Industrial Democracy should be 
guided and directed by nationally or- 
ganized and co-ordinated specialists in 
all the branches of Skill, Technology, 
and Science which are involved in its 
Social Life and requisite to the suc- 
cessful accomplishment of its Great 
National Objective. 

Fernwald, Berkeley, February, 1919. 



Skill Economics for Industrial Democracy. 

By William Henry Smyth 

Note — In the previous essays of this series the author shows that men's 
characterizing activities express certain instincts or instinctive urges and 
that human societies (nations) today consist of uncoordinated groups, each 
bent upon gratifying its predominating instinctive urge — at the expense 
of other groups and regardless of the common weal. He proposes as a 
remedy for this social strife a plan of National Co-ordination — r^cy. 

This article discusses some of the important phases more in detail, 
with constructive suggestions for the elimination of "chance," "mystery," 
and "magic" from our present economic processes, the substitution of 
intelligent purposive ways and means for haphazard methods; and for 
self-interested autocratic control, the substitution of Scientific Leadership 
organized for the accomplishment of consensus National Objectives. — Editor 

Our Nationwide Machine Shop. 

Attempting to make a robust man 
conform to nursery usages and 
swaddling clothes conventions would 
be no more absurd than our present 
efforts to conduct Twentieth ' Cen- 
tury life on the Hunter and Shecp- 
r customs of our racial infancy. 

Indeed, it would be less preposter- 
ous than our continued efforts (de- 
spite tragic experience) to have law- 
yers and gamblers run our nationwide 
Machine Shop by methods and i 
conventions not differing essentially 
from ancient Babylonish laws of King 
Hamurabi and economic customs in 
vogue two thousand years before 

Childish Economics. 

Human ^society started with Brute- 
force Economics, suitable to Cave- 
man — Hunter and Fighter — times. 
Then humanity advanced through the 
Pastoral — animal breeder — stage, be- 
ing therein confronted, socially and 
economically, with the awe-inspiring 
marvel of phallic phenomena, the fear- 
ful mystery of Death and the joy- 
inciting miracle of Life — life with its 
seemingly endless sequence of pro- 
duction and reproduction. 

The Animal Breeder stage of de- 
velopment, indeed, seems to have left 
an indelible impression; seems to have 
peculiarly influenced man's mental 
outlook and modified his thinking pro- 
cesses so profoundly as to have 

shaped even our modern business con- 
ventions and daily practices — or at 
least to have provided favorable 
psychic habitat for our conventional 
economic irrationalities. 

Mysticism and Symbolism. 

The mind-staggering miracle of 
generation seems to have thrown 
primitive human thinking back upon 
itself in dazed befogment — bewilder- 
ment and mistunderstandihg of Na- 
ture's laws, out of which confusion of 
thought emerged Mysticism with its 
magic symbolism. 

This mental chaos of mystic sym- 
bolism — the endowment of the sym- 
bol (or "representative") with the 
qualities and functions of the thing 
symbolized — is a primordial explana- 
tory perversion which still character- 
izes our commonplace thinking on 
monetary matters. The "power of 
money" is proverbial among us; and 
that "money makes money" is axio- 
matic to the average man; also that 
"money makes the mare go," and that 
it performs many other strenuously 
animistic stunts. 

Money, Mortgages and Nehemiah. 

Down through the ages occasion- 
ally we find (both in ecclesiastic and 
lay writings) clearly reasoned repro- 
bation of practices based upon this 
naive misinterpretation of the facts of 



"The words of Nehemiah, the son of 
Hacaliah" and cup bearer of Ar- 
taxerxes, king of Persia, are as "mod- 
ern" today as on the day they were 
uttered — nearly five hundred years 
before Christ. 

And they are as applicable to the 
"civilized" -world today as they were 
to the kindergarten usages and anti- 
social practices of our civilization's 
nursery — Mesopotamia. 

"Some also there were that said, 
We are mortgaging our fields and our 
vineyards, and our houses: let us get 
corn, because of the dearth. There 
were some also that said, We have 
borrowed money for the king's tribute 
upon our fields and our vineyards. Yet 
now our flesh is as the flesh of our 
brethren, our children as their chil- 
dren: and lo, we bring into bondage 
our sons and our daughters to be ser- 
vants, and some of our daughters are 
brought into bondage already; neither 
is it in our power to help it; for other 
men have our fields and our vineyards. 

"And I was very angry when I 
heard their cry and these words. 

"Then I consulted with myself, and 
contended with the nobles and the 
rulers, (or deputies) and said unto 
them, Ye exact usury, every one of 
his brother. And I held a great as- 
sembly against them. 

"And I said unto them, We after 
our ability have redeemed our breth- 
ren the Jews, which were sold unto the 
heathen; and would ye even sell your 
brethren? and should they be sold 
unto us? 

"Then held they their peace, and 
found never a word. 

"Also I said, The thing that ye 
do is not good: 

"And I likewise, my brethren and 
my servants, do lend them money 
and corn on usury. I pray you let 
us leave off this usury. 

"Restore, I pray you, to them, even 
this day, their fields, their vineyards, 
their olive yards, and their houses, 
also the hundredth part of the money, 
and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, 
that ye exact of them. 

"Then said they, We will restore 
them, and require nothing of them; 
so will we do, even as thou sayest. 

"Then I called the priests, and took 
an oath of them, that they should do 
according to this promise. 

Also I shook out my lap, and said, 

So God shake out every man from 
his house, and from his labor, that 
performeth not this promise; even 
thus be he shaken out, and emptied. 

"And all the congregation said, 
Amen, and praised the Lord. 

"And the people did according to 
this promise." (Nehemiah Chap. 5.) 

Money, Reason and Rome. 

Practical minded ancient Rome, 
from whom we have learned so 
much of our work-a-day jurispru- 
dence — while retaining many other 
gross superstitions — seems to have 
rejected this animistic pecuniary 
absurdity, as is shown by the familiar 
expression: Money does not procreate 
money — "Nummus nummum non 

Money, Sheep and Shylock. 
The genius of Shakespeare realized 
die fatuity of this pastoral-age- 
founded pecuniary delusion that 
"money breeds money" (which still 
obsesses our misbegotten finance 
conventions), and holds it up to de- 
served ridicule: 

(The Merchant of Venice — Act 1 

Scene 3.) 


When Jacob grazed his uncle Laban's 

sheep — 

And what of him? Did he take 


No, not take interest, not, as you 

would say, 
Directly interest: mark what 

Jacob did. 
When Laban and himself were 

That all the eanlings which were 

streaked and pied 
Should fall as Jacob's hire, the ewes, 

being rank, 
In the end of autumn turned to 

the rams, 
And, when the work of generation 

Between these woolly breeders in 

the act, 
The skilful shepherd peel'd me 

certain wands 
And, in the doing of the deed of 

He stuck them up before the fulsome 

Who then conceiving did in eaning 




Fall parti-colorcd lambs, and those 

were Jacob's. 
This was a way to thrive, and he 

was blessed: 
And thrift is blessing, if men steal 

it not. 

This was a venture, sir, that Jacob 

served for; 
A thing not in his power to bring 

to pass, 
But sway'd and fashion'd by the 

hand of heaven. 
Was this inserted to make interest 

Or is your gold and silver ewes 

and rams? 

I cannot tell; I make it breed as fast: 

Adolescent Economics. 

Magic-Mystery tinged Breeder- 
economics and vocational experience 
(misinterpreted) quite naturally re- 
sulted in Theocracy and Theocratic- 
economics; and from Theocracy the 
course is straight, the steps easy and 
obvious to Working-by-proxy social 
systems — Privilege-economics — as 
represented by Autocracy, Aris- 
tocracy, and modern Plutocracy. 

Thus the race has successively 
adopted Strength-economics, Cun- 
ning-economics, and Cunning-Strong- 
economics; each system appropriate 
to the conditions of life and stage 
of development, in the past. 

Adult Economics. 

Today is the day of Doer, Work- 
er, Maker — practical utilizer of 
Nature by skill of hand and science- 
taught brain — the Mechanic. 

This is an age of applied Science — 
the utilization of Nature's Laws and 
forces — consequently the earlier 
mystic, predatory, and parasitic 
economic usages and conventions are 
now antiquated and impracticable. 
Hence they are beginning to revolt 
our science-developed practical com- 
mon sense, our sense of propriety, 
and our modern sense of justice. 

Furthermore, it is significantly in 
accord with race experience, with 
commonsense and with reason that: 

Those whose activities characterize 
the times, must initiate and adminis- 
ter its economics. 

So if our Mechanistic Age, our 
Democratic Dispensation is not to 

prove a futile race experiment, a 
will-o-thc-wisp ideal, we must ini- 
tiate Skill-economics, economics of 
our Twentieth Century mechanis- 
tically characterized activities — eco- 
nomics of the Scientist, of the Tech- 
nologist, of the Mechanic, on a 
nationwide scale, in other words: 
National Industrial Management — 

Skill Economics. 

The Mechanic's philosophy as- 
sumes: the neutral orderliness of 
Nature; personal freedom; and per- 
sonal responsibility for the outcome 
of his acts. 

The Mechanic's practice is based 
upon: personal initiative; self- reli- 
ance; and the validity of experience. 

The Mechanic's success results 
from: knowledge of Nature's laws; 
experimental proof; and the elim- 
ination of "chance." 

It is reasonable, therefore, to 
assume that upon these fundamentals 
also must be framed our new work- 
a-day Skill-economics, in order to be 
workable in our work-a-day Mechan- 
istic Age. 

As applied to our present obso- 
lescent economics these principles 

Elimination of Magic (as a tacitly 
assumed factor) in the means and 
methods of production. 

Elimination of Mystery from our 
means and methods of exchanging 
human efforts and resulting products. 

Elimination of Chance from in- 
dustrial organization and distribution. 

Twixt Devil and Deep Sea. 

Stated as generalities, few will 
question the desirability of such 
changes; for it will readily be con- 
ceded that "chance," "mystery," and 
"magic" are merely expressions of 
ignorance clothed in old and familiar 
superstitions. But, when one comes 
truly to realize — not just verbally 
admit — how completely magic, mys- 
tery, and chance are woven into the 
fabric of our modern life and 
thought processes, then the true sig- 
nificance of the propositions strikes 
the mind with a sense of shock. 

We are, indeed, between the devil 
and the deep sea! 

Radically change we must, or our 



"Civilization" will go the way of 
previous abortive social experiments 
— Assyria, Egypt, Phoenicia, Greece, 
Rome, Spain, and . . . Europe. 

Bui, characteristically, the huge 
majority of us would rather be 
socially damned in the good old- 
fashioned way, than accept social 
salvation through radical change. 
Yet, if human experience proves any- 
thing, it demonstrates conclusively 
that irrationality cannot persist in 
the rational Order of Nature. 

Chuck-a-Luck Economics. 

Thus it will, perchance, be help- 
ful to indicate some implications of 
the suggested eliminations, by more 
specific applications to present social, 
economic and financial customs, 
usages, and conventions. 

Birth, Marriage, Death, are the 
worn dice in our chuck-a-luck 

Birth, in surroundings of wealth 
or poverty — on Fifth Avenue or in 
the Bowery — decides whether a child 
shall be a Master or a Servant, an 
owner or a slave, a nationally con- 
trolling factor or one of a million 
mere "cogs," regardless of inherent 
fitness to the "chance" ordained 
position, or to further the aims of 
the community. 

Marriage, under our quaint eco- 
nomic conventions, decides into 
whose hands shall be entrusted 
power represented by vast accumula- 
tions of wealth, regardless of the 
chances that the easily acquired 
wealth may be frivolously squan- 
dered or used adversely to national 

Death, with sardonic Irrelevance, 
plays skittles with the lives of the 
living; for our weirdly jocund "laws 
of devise" empower dead hands 
from the grave to control thousands 
of living men's activities. 

Makers and Takers. 

Under our "economic and finance 
system" to be born into our Mechan- 
istic Ape with mechanical and con- 
structive traits — dextrous hands, inge- 
nious brain, and irresistible instinctive 
urge to do, to work, to make the 
things which constitute our "wealth" — 
is to be fore-doomed by "chance" to 
lifelong obscurity, social impotence, 
and relative poverty; while to be born 

with instinctive acquisitive cunning 
and insatiable greed, is to be elected 
by "chance" to social distinction, 

ii and power. 
Indeed, it would seem, that of all 
the facts, circumstances, and incidents, 
constituting present conditions of hu- 

life, "blind chance" has irration- 
ally been selected as the controlling 
factor in that antiquated collection of 
queer customs, quaint conventions and 
grotesque superstitions, that, with 
childish fatuity, we call our "Science 
of Economics and Finance." 

Magic — Ancient and Modern. 

To gage the folly of earlier ages 
by our own advance is an easy and 
vanity satisfying diversion; to correct- 
asure the ignorance and super- 
stition of our own times is a hopeless 

Thus we look back with smiling con- 
tempt upon Devil-raising, Soul- 
selling, Fountain-of-youth, Witch's- 
broomstick, and other wondrous para- 
phernalia of "Black Art." And yet, no 
itial difference exists between the 
old witchcraft, by which a "magic po- 
tion" added years to human life, and 
modern "financial" black art which 
gives everlasting life to inanimate 
"capital" and endows lifeless "money" 
with life's unique function — reproduc- 
tion — so that "money makes money"' 
for ever and ever. Indeed, of the two 
the modern magic causation is the 
more crudely illogical and unscientific; 
for while the ancient black art only 
purported to prolong life already ex- 
isting, modern financial magic pre- 
to perform the still greater 
miracle of infusing life into inanimate 

Do I seem to exaggerate? 

Then read what Economic High 
Priest Boehm-Bawerk says in his 
"Capital and Interest — A Critical His- 
tory of Economic Theory"; says seri- 
ously, supremely unconscious that he 
is describing a crazily impossible mir- 
acle — a miracle, however, in which 
there is a substantially universal con- 
sensus of ignorant belief. 

"And finally it (interest) flows to 
the capitalist without ever exhausting 
the capital from which it conies, and 
therefore without any necessary limit 
to its continuance. It is, if one may 
use such an expression about mundane 
things, capable of an everlasting life. 



Thus it is that the phenomenon of in- 
terest as a whole presei 
able picture of a lifeless thin 
ing an everlasting and inexhaustible 
supply of goods." 

Was ever gross superstitious ignor- 
ance or "black art" more crassly 
at variance with facts iture's 

Laws or the S 

Mechanics, than this self-filling "magic 
purse" of financial wizardry? 

Time Turned Tailward! 

If there is one fact in human ex- 
perience, the validity of which is 
yond question, it is that the onward 
flow of Time is non-reversible, the fu- 
ture cannot help the present. 

We can change the direction of mo- 
tion in i hings — back up a 
horse, a train, or a boat, or even in 
some instances reverse the flow of a 
river; but to turn back the inexorable 
forward march of Time is unthinkable. 

To suggest shooting the 
with future bullets and feeding our 
soldier boys with future food— substi- 
tuting "future savings" (!) of future 
generations tor present savings and 
present work, seems — to a Mechanic — 
like the insane imaginings of a magic- 
crazed brain. 

Yet, these are the stupendous mir- 
acles which the "magic of finance" se- 
riously purports to accomplish — for a 
small present consideration. 

Do I seem to exaggerate? 

Then read the serious proposal of 
Financial Wizard Frank A. Vander- 
lip, President of the National City 
Bank of New York. 

"This war must be financed, not out 
of past savings, but out of future sav- 
ings. Future savings are for the mo- 
ment not available and some other 
device must therefore be brought into 
play. That device is bank credit, and 
this loan and subsequent loans will in 
the main be floated through an expan- 
sion of credit." 

Truly human credulity is limitless — 
or the day of witchcraft and miracles 
is not past! 

Futilities of Magic. 
Never in one solitary instance, in all 
the hundreds of years and millions of 
sacrificial victims, did entrails of 
slaughtered animals foretell a future 
happening; never did any of the armies 

of Devils and "familiar spirits," in- 
voked by magic incantations, effect 
arthly result which would not 
otherwise have occurred; never was 
solitary grain of gold transmuted from 
metal by the magic of the 
myriads of guaranteed "Philosopher's 

acles happen — except in the distorted 
s of the simple ones who 
ians for their futilities. 
And the poor boobs who "paid the 
piper" didn't know any more about 
magic then, than the average man of 
today who franl erts: "I don't 

know a damned thing about Econom- 
ics and Finance." 

"Future Savings"! 
Recalling practical warlike Rome, 
fighting her world-conquering battles 
or refraining from attack on the au- 
gury of fowl's entrails; remembering 
philosophical Greece conducting her 
civil, military, and economic affairs up- 
on the assumed guidance of similar 
irrationalities; not forgetting that in 
comparatively recent times, by "sell- 
ing indulgences," — dealing in "future 
savings," "treasures in heaven," i. e., 
"floating (super-mundane) credit" — 
and by commerce in other optimistic 
and supposititious commodities, "the 
Church" acquired legal ownership to 
over half of the land and wealth of 
England; not overlooking the fact that 
by similar supposititious means mod- 
ernized, the Mormon Church of the 
Latter Day Saints has become one of 
the wealthiest and 'socially most pow- 
erful capitalistic corporations in our 
midst today; calmly and dispassionate- 
ly turning these facts over in the 
mind, causes one to pause and reflect. 
Indeed, mentally reviewing this ages 
long and unquestionable historical ev- 
idence, one — embued with modern 
scientific notions — begins to wonder. 

Questions and Doubts. 

One wonders how "dollars" or 
"debts" can be magically endowed 
with life? 

How magically endowed with "ever- 
lasting life?" 

How magically endowed with the 
capability of unending reproduction? 
— "a lifeless thing producing an ever- 
lasting and inexhaustible supply of 



And thus wondering, one questions 
and doubts. . . . 

Can it be that the "miracles of fi- 
nance" and the "magic of credit" are 
of a piece with the ancient miracles and 
magic? — only, (in keeping with the 
h. c. 1.) gone up in cost to the simple 
ones who pay for the "miraculous" 

But what a cost! 


Science and Mechanics have multi- 
plied manifold the productive effect of 
human effort during the past century, 
so that the resulting products and in- 
strumentalities of production have in- 
creased in like ratio. 

So the question naturally arises as 
to what disposition has been made 
of this great aggregation of National 
Commissariat Stores in the United 
States under our alleged "economic" 

How have the "Financiers" — our 
book-keepers — kept tab on the "debits 
and credits"? 

How have they (numerically less 
than one per cent) distributed this 
product of the combined work of the 
twenty million families that, in round 
numbers, constitute (the other ninety- 
nine per cent of )the population? 

The Balance Sheet. 

In round numbers the books show: 
$250,000,000,000— "wealth" ; 
$70,000,000,000— gross "profits"; di- 
vided: — 

$50,000,000,000— "income" to the 

$20.000,000,000— "wage" to the fam- 

$1,000 — average family "wage." 
Thus the balance sheet shows that 
the self-selected and socially irrespon- 
sible score-keepers — the "Financiers" 
— have apportioned the gross yearly 
"profits" of the United States National 
Industrial Enterprise in the ratio of 
five-sevenths to themselves and two- 
sevenths to the 20 million families. 

"Business" and Instincts. 

In the jargon of "Business," "the 
Financiers" "charge" fifty billion dol- 
lars ($50,000,000,000) yearly for "fi- 
nanciering" the United States. 

That is to say: "The Interests" as- 
sess the People of the United States 

fifty billion dollars ($50,000,000,000) 
"interest" tribute yearly, in perpetuity, 
for permitting the people the privilege 
of practicing national honest}- — and 
for the magic of (mysteriously con- 
ventionalized) "Credit." 

In other words: "The Capitalists" 
tax the People of the United States 
fifty billion dollars ($50,000,000,000) 
yearly for permitting the People the 
privilege of utilizing the Nation's hu- 
man and other natural resources — and 
for (the miracles of) "Capitalization." 

In simple terms of human instincts: 
The Instinctive Takers take the In- 
stinctive Makers' makings for permitt- 
ing the Makers to make the Nation's 
natural raw materials into desirable 

Feeding and Breeding. 

The families must, of course, be 
fed and clothed and housed, and the 
children schooled, — or the supply of 
Makers would soon peter out. 

For these unavoidable necessities 
the "Financiers" allow, on an average, 
a thousand dollars a year per family; 
a "bare living wage" in exchange for 
a whole year of the brief work-life 
(of twenty odd years), for life-energy 
irrecoverably used up in making the 
wealth; wealth out of which bare sus- 
tenance is all that goes to its Makers. 

Worse and More of It. 

Nor is this all, nor the worst. 

It deals with things only, now in 
existence. And it refers to an appor- 
tionment of the gross "profits" ar- 
rived at (more or less) by our own 

But, — by the wondrous working of 
"Credit" — the "Financiers" have vir- 
tually pawned (in their own pawn 
shop) the whole Industrial World! 

The "Financiers" have placed a per- 
petual mortgage plaster of at least one 
thousand billion dollars ($1,000,000,- 
000,000) on the work and products of 
unborn generations of the hundred 
million families constituting the 
"White World." 

The "Financiers" have chained thus 
a $10,000 debt, paying "interest" trib- 
ute of $2.00 per day (for ever) upon 
the back of each and every family in 
the "civilized world" — a perpetual 
thraldom of debt; debt secured by 
"Bonds," by "Mortgage," by "Capi- 



talization" and by "National Debt" 

The "Financiers" have thus placed 
this huge mortgage debt (in perpet- 
uity) upon future generations with- 
out their consent — the most stupend- 
ous case of tyrannous "taxation with- 
out representation" in all the dark 
ages long tragic experience of long 
suffering humanity. 

What petty "Pikers" were the Shy- 
locks of old Nchcmiah's day compared 
to our . . . our . . . "Financiers"^. 

Crowning Paradox. 

Poverty is the opposite of riches; 
debt the negation of wealth; bank- 
ruptcy the reverse of solvency; they 
are antithetical — the plus and minus 
signs of human interaction in the 
world of "Business." 

A modern man, by the aid of scienti- 
fic and mechanistic instrumentalities, 
accomplishes more today than one-, 
two-, and in some cases ten-score men 
of a hundred years ago; so, despite 
war and every other destructive 
agency, production outstrips bare 
need today as at no time in the past. 

The world is constantly increasing 
its total products. 

Yet, notwithstanding these facts, 
the richer the world grows, the more 
it owes — both relatively and actually; 
the greater its wealth, the deeper it 
is plunged in debt. 

Thus, under the regime of capitalis- 
tic "High Finance," is achieved the 
crowning paradox of all time — the 
acme of miraculous causation: 

The functions of plus and minus are 
reversed; more is less! The larger 
a thing grows the smaller it becomes! 
The more efficient men get, the less 
effective relatively is the outcome! 
The faster the world cistern is filled 
with wealth the more nearly empty 
it is, — the more completely is the 
White World bankrupt!! 

The ancient miracle of "the 
widow's cruse" is inverted — by mod- 
ern Financial Magic. 

An Old Delusion. 

Now it is not intended to impute 
deliberately dishonest or intentionally 
unethical methods to our Financiers 
and Capitalists, under a vague and 
metaphorical term, "Magic." On the 
contrary, I use the word "magic" in 

its ordinary meaning — supernatural 

I am convinced that the great ma- 
jority of us — capitalist and laborer 
alike — are still obsessed with the fal- 
lacy of magic causation; an ancient 
delusion that has dominated men's 
minds and befogged their thinking 
from the very beginning of man's 
efforts to explain the causes of un- 
usual happenings. 

"Magic" is the oldest and easiest 
way to account for strange things, 
and still holds its ancient sway over 
men's minds outside the laboratory 
of the scientist and the workshop of 
the mechanic. 

Elimination of this fallacy as a con- 
trolling factor in the distribution of 
products — wealth — is a necessary step 
toward a rationally workable eco- 
nomic system; a system adapted to 
20th Century life and the mental at- 
titude of our science-made Mecha- 
nistic Age. 


"Chance" implies insufficient knowl- 
edge of causes. 

"Magic" implies misinterpretation 
of causes. 

"Mystery" implies inherent un- 
knowableness of causes. 

While increasing knowledge tends 
ever toward minimizing the "chance" 
element and lessening of "magic" 
errors, mystery presents a different 

The laboratory, or the factory, or 
the workshop, or the countinghouse, 
is no place for "mystery," for to 
the workers therein mystery means 
ignorance — lack of intelligence. In 
human life at large, it is quite other- 
wise as concerns the essential All- 
inclusive Mystery and religious mys- 
ticism. This is a fact of profound 
significance in relation to the larger 
aspect of our "Social Problem." 

Our new Skill Economics, there- 
fore, may not discourage man's in- 
nate love of mystery, — his inborn re- 
ligious spirituality — nor curb the 
spirit which tempts him to adventure 
courageously into the unknown; but 
instead should provide advantageous 
scope for its personal expression. 

But — as in the machine shop — 
"mystery" is out of place in finance; 
out of place because the function of 



"money" in an economic system cor- 
responds to the purposes of checks 
and gauges, templets and measuring 
instruments of the technologist and 
the mechanical constructor. 

The essentials of such devices are 
accuracy, certainty, invariability — the 
antitheses of the qualities of mys- 

Yet in no branch of human activity 
are its measuring devices so incon- 
sistent, contradictory, inaccurate; so 
mysteriously variable, so subject to 
anti-social self-interested control as 
are those, of the Financier — his twin 
mysteries, "Money" and "Credit." 
Our Queer Dollar. 

One of the many quaint functions 
of the dollar is that of a "standard 
of value." As a matter of fact, no 
one knows or can determine from 
moment to moment, what is the 
value of a dollar. We only know 
that its worth is diminishing, vari- 
ously, to the vanishing point. 

Neither the Nation nor the Mone- 
tary Experts, nor the Professors of 
Economics, nor the Financiers, nor 
the Interests, nor the Capitalists, nor 
the Common Man, have ever suc- 
ceeded in fixing our "standard of 
value" — standardizing the value of 
our "standard of value" — the worth 
of our Dollar. 

Mr. Worker contends that the con- 
traction of the dollar is due to ex- 
pansion in the cost of living; so he 
strikes for more dollars, and effects 
another shrink. Mr. Trader says the 
contraction is due to the expansion 
of wages; so he boosts up the price 
of products, and effects still another 
contraction. And so on and on, and 
the end is not yet! 

Indeed, there are as many different 
explanations of this mysterious 
"spooky" phenomenon in our 
"Standard" almost as there are ex- 
plainers — and their number is legion. 
An Elastic Foot Rule! 

If our foot-rule were subject to 
similar mysterious fluctuations, its 
length would have shrunk to four 
inches or so (!) in the past five years, 
with innumerable variations from 
time to time. 

Imagine the chaos, had such a mys- 
teriously variable standard of mea- 

surement been used in the machine 

The stress of War conditions has 
so completely demonstrated the in- 
utility of our mysteriously elastic so- 
called "standard of value and medium 
of exchange" that it is now virtually 
in the discard, — stacked up uselessly 
in private and in national treasury 

Our alleged "standard of value and 
medium of exchange" never was a 
standard of value, and now it is not 
even a medium of exchange. Quaint, 
but true! 

A practically costless, hence un- 
varying, "medium of exchange" — a 
one-function money — is another much 
needed step toward a rational eco- 
nomic system. 


But if our money is a mysterious 
commodity, what shall be said of 

"Money" — i.e., "gold coin of the 
United States of the present standard 
of weight and fineness" — even though 
lacking in practical utility, is at least 
a physical commodity. It occupies 
space (however uselessly) ; it has 
color, weight, length, breadth and 
thickness, — it possesses physical char- 
acteristics easily determinable by 
scientific tests. 

Not one of these facts is applicable 
to "Credit." 

"Credit" is a state of mind, a 
psychological condition — hypnosis — a 
mesmeric dream. Naturally it lacks 
all the qualities of physical things, 
and possesses all those of phan- 
tasms. A man dreams he is wealthy, 
and — for all dream purposes — he is 
wealthy; even though in actual fact 
he is dying of starvation in squalor 
and want. 

So too, in like manner, a nation 
dreams itself some (or many) billions 
of additional wealth; sets the print- 
ing presses going to record the 
dream — in "bonds"; and forthwith 
becomes billions wealthier (in its 
mind), though, as a matter of fact, 
the physical wealth may have shrunk 
to the danger point of general in- 
digence and starvation. 

This is the danger-fraught "World 
condition" today. 



Boundless Credit Wealth 

Seemingly human stupidity is lim- 
itless and human credulity infinite! 
This boundless, unweighable, unmea- 
surable, hope-created dream-stuff 
("Credit") is sliced and apportioned, 
like beef or butter, and sold in the 
market place. by self-appointed pur- 
veyors of public optimism. 

Yes! Sold and exchanged for the 
limited, measurable, physical prod- 
ucts of sweaty and grimy toil and 
strenuous human effort. 

Like all other dreams and dream- 
stuff. "Credit" visions know no 
bounds but those of desire. Millions 
or billions or scores of billions — it's 
all the same in the wonderland 
dreamworld of "Finance": wish them 
and dream them, and presto! they 
exist. They exist: dream ships, 
dream cannons, dream food — irides- 
cent wealth bubbles blown up and 
"floated through an expansion of 
credit," as proposed by Finance Wiz- 
ard Vanderlip. 

Dream Wealth. 

It is not surprising therefore that 
in the wonderland of Finance this 
dreamworld's dream wealth "Credit" 
— as represented by "credit instru- 
ments," i. e., stocks, bonds, mortgages, 
national debts, etc. — transcends great- 
ly the workaday world's physical 
utilities — real wealth. 

But what is going to happen when 
we are jolted awake to the rationality 
of workaday reality, and dream 
visions vanish; when the airy 
floating credit bubble bursts — as bub- 
bles do? When Germany and Austria 
follow Russia's (Bolshevik) example, 
and France follows Germany, and 
then England, and then . . . ? 

Then what? 

When this happens, the world will 
discard the silly delusion that time is 
reversible by financial magic — credit; 
"credit," the greatest of all myths and 
magic makebelieves by which cunning 
men in all ages have sought to get 
something for nothing. 

In all the historically recorded cases 
of collective human delusions — from 
practical Rome's entrail augury to 
shrewd Yankee Salem's witchcraft — 
there is none which surpasses, in col- 
lective crass credulity, our great Credit 

A national (non-tribute) bookkeep- 
ing system equitably to determine real 
ownership of the products of effort, 
is a much needed economic conven- 

Experimental Science. 

It would seem that with the advent 
of Experimental Science occurred an 
epoch in the history of our Race; an 
epochal event to which none other 
is comparable, except possibly the ac- 
quisition of Self-consciousness itself. 
Indeed it would seem that these two 
super-significant events — so unthink- 
ably far apart in time — are, in essence, 
closely related. 

By coming to Self-consciousness 
the Brute became Man — potentially, 
though not actually, a self-determining 

By the coming of Science — based 
upon the idea of the rationality and 
neutrality of "nature" — potential Free- 
dom ceased to be a mere possibility 
and became a realizable Ideal. 
To Make or Break Shackles. 

Science and Technology are, how- 
ever, but tools in Man's hands; tools 
wherewith to make effective Man's 
transcendent privilege: Freedom of 

Groups of men (like Germany) may 
use these great instrumentalities to 
forge social shackles upon themselves, 
and upon Humanity the bondage of 

Or, they may use them to make hu- 
man Liberty effective, as is the ideal 
of the United States. 

Human beings, whether as individ- 
uals, or as groups, or as nations, are 
"free" — self-determining — only when 
purposively initiative; for it is only 
in purposive action that liberty can be 

Freedom, then, means will to intelli- 
gent self-expression — liberty ex- 
pressed in rational accomplishment. 

On all the foregoing considerations, 
our problem of "Social Reconstruc- 
tion" on a scientific basis implies sys- 
tematizing our great but inchoate Na- 
tion upon economic principles appro- 
priate to an Industrial Democracy. 

The basis of modern industry being 
scientific knowledge of nature's laws 
whereby nature's resources are made 
available for human use and enjoy- 



mint through the aid and agency of 
technical skill, "Reconstruction" be- 
comes essentially a process of selec- 
tive rejection of present inappropriate 
economic usages; discarding customs 
which unduly facilitate the acquisitive 
instincts, and substituting others 
which tend to minimize social ob- 
stacles to the freer expression of the 
constructive or industrial instincts — 
in the interest of the commonweal. 

As industrial processes involve spe- 
cialized skill and expert technical 
training, made effective by intelligent 
co-ordination, it is clear that a hu- 
manly efficient Industrial Democracy 
necessitates leadership by those who 
possess the requisite knowledge, skill, 
and technical training. 

So, when we speak of Industrial De- 
mocracy, what we really mean is: 
Nation-wide Industry managed by 
Technologists — a Nation of free and 
socially equal workers, scientifically 
organized for mutual benefit and uni- 
fied purpose — a Technocracy. 


By way of summary, a few of the 
more obviously inappropriate present 
usages which, seemingly with advan- 
tage, we might consign to the limbo 
of outworn social expedients, here fol- 

(I) Discard usages founded on the 
autocratic idea of "the State"; 

Substitute therefor — in fact as well 
as in theory — others resting upon the 
self-evident right of a man to inalien- 
able and complete ownership of him- 
self; hence (in effect) inalienable own- 
ership of the industrial product result- 
ing from the functioning of his mind 
and body — limited only by others' 
equal right. 

(II) Discard conventions resting 
upon the parasitic idea that (legal) 
possession is equivalent to production: 

Substitute natural ownership based 
on making for conventions that legal- 
ize taking. 

(III) Discard institutions legaliz- 
ing "chance" as a controlling factor 
for the distribution of things; 

Substitute therefor collective fore- 
sight based upon experience; and hu- 
man need for instinctive animal greed 
— in the interest of the commonweal. 

(IV) Discard "financial magic" 
practices resting upon the animistic 
fallacy that inanimate objects can (by 

convention) be endowed with life's 
unique function — reproduction ; 

Substitute others on the evidential 
fact that only human beings can make 
usefully available the things we call 

(V) Discard the "mysteries of fi- 
nance" in wealth distributing pro- 
cesses — the private purveying of pub- 
lic optimism for gain and the "man- 
ufacture of credit" for sale; 

Substitute therefor a community 
(national) bookkeeping system, in 
which figures clearly tell what each 
individual and each group has added 
to the common stock. 

(VI) Discard institutions resting 
upon the erroneous notion that con- 
ventional symbols, i. e., "representa- 
tives" of wealth, "bonds," "credit," 
"capital," etc. — are equivalent to and 
can perform the functions of the in- 
strumentalities they "represent," and 
can continue so to function long after 
the instrumentalities have ceased to 
exist or have become obsolete; 

Substitute others making the use- 
rent of things, i. e. "usury," "interest," 
correspond to and be contingent upon 
the effective worth and the continued 
usefulness of the things rented. 

(VII) Discard customs based upon 
mystic symbolism and the animistic 
fallacy that "money" can perform the 
functions of the life-energy or pro- 
ducts "represented"; 

Substitute a costless one-function 
national check medium of exchange. 

(VIII) Discard "business" practices 
based upon the anti-social dictum 
that: "one man's misfortune is an- 
other's opportunity"; 

Substitute therefor the proposition 
that: the illhaps of unavoidable social 
hazards and chance favors of good 
fortune should (in social effect) be 
equally shared by all. 

(IX) Discard all institutions and 
conventions facilitating the function- 
ing of anti-social predatory and para- 
sitic instincts; 

Substitute others tending to en- 
courage willing self-interested co- 
operation energized by national unity 
of purpose. 

(X) Discard the strife inducing in- 
stitutions of group industries based 
upon the hunger-slavery idea of em- 
ployer and employee organized for 
mechanistic human efficiency in output 
of products for purely private profit; 



Substitute others based upon ra- 
tional human initiative and develop- 
ment with the aid of all the resources 
of the Nation, co-ordinated for the 
commonweal under the management 
of Scientific Leadership to accomplish 
a consensus National Objective. 
Save Civilization! 

Whether these proposed changes 
arc effectively workable or are only 
"visionary," "impracticable," "Utopian 
dreams," is, of course, debatable; but 
there can be no question regarding 
the truth of the solemn warning of 
Lloyd George: "Civilization, unless we 
try to save it, may be precipitated 
and scattered to atoms." 


That our Civilization is in danger of 
being "shattered to atoms," raises the 
question of culpability for the present 
ominous state of affairs, and hence 
of responsibility for averting the 
threatened outcome. 

The Masses cannot be held respon- 
sible, for they are simply impelled by 
their instinct "to live"; they do not 
think, they do what is much more im- 
portant: they breed. Their magnifi- 
cent all-inclusive social function is re- 
production. Hence, they feel — feel 
hunger, feel passion — they feel with 
all the vital energy of the race. 

Thus, when social conditions be- 
come unbearable or threaten their vital 
function, they reflex with unrestrained 
ferocity against such conventional re- 
straints to the natural expression of 
their instinctive urges. 

The Skilled Artisans cannot be held 
responsible, for they are merely obey- 
ing the instinct "to make." Their 
mental activity is analogous to — and 
for the same social purpose as — the 
cycle of brain functioning that pro- 
duces the mathematical cell of the bee, 
the carpentry of the beaver, and the 
nest building of the bird. 

The Employers cannot be held re- 
sponsible, for they only express the 
instinct "to control," the Mastery in- 
stinct — an urge which could not be 
satisfied unless others willingly sub- 
mitted to domination. Their social 
function is to energize — to counteract 
human inertia — for the preservation 
of the Race. 

The Financiers cannot be held re- 
sponsible, for they only reflex the in- 
stinct "to take," the urge to hoard, 

like — and for the same social pur- 
pose as — the hoarding of the squir- 
rel or the honey storing of the bee. 
They probably are least imaginative 
of all. Their social function is con- 
servation, the converse of progressive 

Typically, none of these social ele- 
ments think; think in the sense of the 
imaginative pioneer theorizing of cre- 
ative thought — seeking for truth apart 
from its immediate application to self- 
preservation — searching with spiritual 
insight for paths into the unknown to 
be later trod by careless earth-bound 

The Scientist is in a different cate- 
gory. Characteristically he lack> the 
instinctive urges which distinguish the 
other elements of human society. 

But, it is his social function, to think. 

He does think — he has functioned 
with a vengeance! 

One of the results of his high- 
pressure thinking is that: "Civilization 
may be shattered to atoms" — or Hu- 
manity raised to Godlike heights, by 

While it is quite questionable 
whether Science, so far, has proved a 
blessing or a curse to Humanity, 
there can be no doubt that its poten- 
tialities in either direction are limit- 
less. Praiseworthy or culpable, as the 
case now stands, responsibility for the 
outcome rests squarely upon the 
shoulders of the Scientist. 

National Leadership. 

Notwithstanding appearances to the 
contrary — popular unrest, growth of 
socialism, spread of I. W. W.-ism, 
the whirlwind of Bolshevism and 
other terrifying upsurgings of de- 
structive Massism — the "Masses" do 
not desire to lead, do not seek "pro- 
letarian dictatorship." 

Human herds have always followed 
leaders, like other gregarious animals - 
followed their leaders willingly, blind- 
ly, thoughtlessly. 

The herd will follow till following 
becomes vitally dangerous, threatens 
its social life — hinders the normal 
functioning of its instinctive urges to 
growth and reproduction. 

Nations have followed the leader- 
ship of Autocracy till starved white 
by plundering conventions or bled 
white by wars. 

Nations have followed the leader- 
ship of Theocratic Mystics into 



mental chaos, and confusion of human 
ideals and social purpose. 

And we today, with sheeplike docility, 
have followed Plutocratic leadership 
into a social morass of crazy financial 
conventions, till the raising of families 
has become an unbearable burden, an 
impossible social handicap; till the 
opportunity to work is a dubious 
privilege; till the future of the worker 
and breeder — the proletarian — offers 
only a soul shriveling bondage of de- 
basing and inescapable debt! 

Modern Manhood's Mandate. 

The present "World condition" 
means only that the proletariat has 
balked, revolted, at this sordid threat 
to the sanity and the sanctity of 
Human existence. 

The "World condition" is a World 
Cry! — a cry not for Proletarian Dic- 
tatorship, nor for Mob Rule, but tor 
new Leaders. 

The World demands new Leaders! 
Not new and more "efficient" slave 
drivers — Trust Barons, or Kings of 
Commerce, or Emperors of Finance. 

The Modern World demands mod- 
ern Leaders, Men! Men with ideas 
that rise higher than swapping jack- 
knives — even in carload or shipload 

The "World condition" expresses 
this demand by modern men for mod- 
ern leaders, leaders with modern spir- 
itualized ideals. 

Our "Social Unrest" is a demand for 
torch-bearers and pathfinders to social 
freedom of opportunity; a demand for 
leaders with luminous imagination to 
visualize our War-born Nation's de- 
sired Peace Goal; leaders with scien- 
tific knowledge to realize and actualize 
the rational aspirations, ambitions, 
and ideals of free modern American 



Auto-, Theo-, and Pluto-crat 

While the Autocrat, the Theocrat, 
and the Plutocrat, are decadent 
products of outworn ways and obso- 
lescent materialistic manners of think- 
ing, the Scientist, on the contrary, is 
the most modern development of 
modern intelligence, modern ideals, 
and modern spiritualized modes of 

Fernwald, Berkeley, March 20, 1919. 

The Scientist is essentially a pioneer, 
a pathfinder, a torch bearer, a seeker 
after Truth and Rationality. 

The Scientist is the modern re- 
ligionist, the priest of selfless Truth: 

Truth which grows with Man's 
growth and luminously emerges with 
the purifying of human Intelligence: 

Truth — that all-inclusive Something 
behind the physical facts of nature 
which makes for Right — for mechan- 
ical, for personal, for ethical, for 
spiritual, for social righteousness — the 
ultimate Unifying Ideal. 

Truly, "the stone which the builders 
rejected is become the head of the 
corner": the keystone of the social 

Rational Leadership. 

The Scientist is, seemingly, our one 
best, if not our only hope for Rational 

Then, too, the Scientist — by un- 
leashing the limitlessly powerful nat- 
ural forces, in uncoordinated, haphaz- 
ard science - made instrumentalities — 
has got us into much of our present 
social muddle. 

So it is up to the Scientist to lead 
us out; or at least, to harness for 
human service the science-created 
non-moral mechanistic monster that 
he has liberated. 

Guideless and Aimless! 

But if the Scientist shirks this great 
task, if he lacks the desire for, or 
the courage of, or the will to Leader- 
ship; if for any reason he evades this 
obvious responsibility, or is daunted 
by its obvious difficulties . . . then 
indeed, blindly plunging deviously on- 
ward — guideless and aimless — "our 
Civilization may be precipitated and 
shattered to atoms," and our Indus- 
trial Democracy adventure prove a 
World Tragedy. 

Yes! the most pathetic of all human 
tragedies — futility. 

Lacking: Purpose. 

Our Nation of great expectations, 
of magnificently vague hopes and stu- 
pendous possibilities, (if nothing 
worse happens), will slump into futile 
pottering desuetude, lacking inspiring 
purpose to live for, lacking worthy 
achievement to work for, lacking 
worthwhile goal to strive for, lacking 
— a Great National Objective. 

Reprinted from the Gazette, Berkeley, California. 
Copyright, 1921, by W. H. Smyth 


Second Series 


Magic Money, Money Magic and the Magician ; 

The Payers and — the Fading Smile. 

By William Henry Smyth 

University of California, 
Department of Philosophy, 

I have read with keen interest this series of discussions on "Technoc- 
racy." They constitute an interesting and incisive analysis of some im- 
portant factors of our present day society. One need not agree with all 
of the author's comments and conclusions, but the spirit of his inquiry, 
and the serious attempt to be scientific and analytical will impress every 
thoughtful reader. 


(George Plimpton Adams, Ph.D., is Professor of Philosophy in the 
University of California.) 

Note: The First Series of Technocracy outlines a program of social recon- 
struction under the guidance of nationally organized Science. The Second 
Series develops, in simple language and with common examples, the working 
method, the ways and means proposed by the author for attaining such social 
order and contentment, and thus destroying the peril of revolution. 

In Part I Mr. Smyth sets forth the antagonism, in our society, of ancestral 
superstition, obvious in economics, notably effective in finance, as against the 
modern point of view, enforced by Science and our every-day-life familiarity 
with and dependence on machines and machine processes — with the resulting 
social tension accumulating to the breaking strain. — Editor. 

Mechanics and Economics. prehension and understandable to or- 

Mechanics deals with things— dinary intelligence, 

things governed by unchangeable and "Economics" and "Finance," to Mr. 

unchanging Laws of Nature. The ba- Average Man, seem realms of pro- 

sic facts and principles of Mechanic found impenetrable mystery governed 

Arts have passed out of the region of b y occult forces, 

doubt or controversy — they are firmly T „ , . -rvrr^ 

founded upon the proofs of scientific Important Difference. 

experiment. The difference in our mental atti- 

• Economics, on the contrary, is con- tude towards these two departments 

cerned with easily changeable (man- of human effort, to which I have di- 

made) rules and regulations— commu- rected attention, serves in part at least 

nity usages intended to facilitate so- to explain why it is that we would 

cial activities. Hardly any two an- unquestioningly accept (as being bnl- 

thorities are agreed upon the basic hantly reasonable) a proposal by a 

"facts" of economics, nor are these "Financier," that with spontaneous 

"facts" determinable by the tests of scorn we would reject (as being ob- 

experimental science. viously crazy), if suggested by a me- 

i-«i • /-m ■ chanic. 

Clarity and Obscurity. i t j s so easy to overlook the cus- 

Mechanics and machines, to Mr. Av- tomary that this common happening 
erage Man, are quite within his com- is not commonly noted; nonetheless 




it is a fact and social factor of more 
than ordinary importance, for it 
throws light on social problems, upon 
the solution of which may depend our 
escape, in the United States, from the 
condition of Europe, particularly that 
of Russia. 

"Future Savings." 

Obviously (to commonsense), if 
workers worked in future materials or 
if soldiers shot at each other with fu- 
ture bullets, or if both toilers and 
fighters fed on future food, only vis- 
ionary products and dream carnage 
could result. 

So, should a Mechanic propose to 
us an "invention" intended to enable 
workers, feeders, and fighters to fight 
today, feed today, work today, and 
jag today on next year's or next cen- 
tury's materials, food, booze, and en- 
ergy; we should tap our foreheads 
significantly, and murmur— "Wheels!" 

Let, however, Mr. Financier make 
the same proposition as Mr. (Nuttie) 
Mechanic, and we joyfully shout — 
"Hurrah! for the Future!"; and hand 
our "Wizard of Finance" a thousand 
billion dollar blanket mortgage "bond" 
on the world, (i. e., "National Debts," 
and intra-national "credit" instru- 
ments) paying Financier 5% interest 
for ever — to "finance the enterprise." 

When a dapper and dextrous gen- 
tleman, in evening costume — with con- 
vincing evidence of "no deception" — 
produces ribbons and rabbits, pigeons 
and poultry, guinea-pigs and goldfish, 
from a magic hat, we — undeceived — 
smilingly applaud his skill. 

But, let Mr. Financier's learned co- 
adjutor Professor Economicus solemn- 
ly and lengthily discourse learnedly 
regarding steaks and steamships; su- 
gar, shoes and psychics; copper and 
coal; jags, joys and jimjams; cotton, 
coaloil, and cucumbers; cabbages and 
kings, dollars and diamonds, quantum 
and quahogs — all that heart of man 
desires — spontaneously generated out 
of a magic hat of "future savings" 
(i. e., mysteriously conventionalized 
"credit"), we listen in respectful 
amaze, and hopefully hand our petty 
surplus present products to Mr. Finan- 
cier — as a small consideration for the 
great and mysterious future benefits 

to be conferred by his wondrous cre- 
ative art! 

Such "finance" and "economic" hap- 
penings as these are so common, 
usual, everyday experiences that they 
pass smoothly by without any awak- 
ening shock to our intelligence; thus 
they escape critical attention. None- 
theless from these casual unnoted 
causes flow our social unrest and 

Magic Money. 

(a) "This war must be financed, not 
out of past savings but out of future 
savings. Future savings are for the 
moment not available and some other 
device must therefore be brought into 
play. That device is bank credit, and 
this loan and subsequent loans will in 
the main be floated through an expan- 
sion of bank credit." 

Money Magic. 

(b) "And, finally, it flows in to the 
capitalist without ever exhausting the 
capital from which it comes, and there- 
fore without any necessary limit to its 
continuance. It is, if one may use 
such an expression about mundane 
things, capable of an everlasting life. 
Thus it is that the phenomenon of in- 
terest as a whole presents the remark- 
able picture of a lifeless thing produc- 
ing an everlasting and inexhaustible 
supply of goods." 

"Economics" vs. Horsesense. 

Quotation (a) is the considered pro- 
nouncement of a foremost banker and 
a national power in the "World of 

Quotation (b) is the deliberate ut- 
terance of a leading if not the leading 
authority in the "Realm of Econom- 

Both statements, with practical 
unanimity, are accepted as expressions 
of Twentieth Century economic intelli- 

If quotation (a) is not in essence 
precisely the proposal of our crazy "in- 
ventor" and if (b) does not in effect 
describe the performance of the presti- 
digitator, and if both are not definite 
and serious expressions of (real even 
if unconscious) belief in magic, then 
words have no meaning and rational 
thought is a futile farce. 



Should cither proposition (a or b) 
come (in precisely the same form) 
from a mechanic, it would require no 
stretch of the imagination to foretell 
the verdict of a lunacy commission 
regarding his fate. 

Modern Diabolism. 

It is noteworthy that our mental 
attitude toward the .Mechanic is prac- 
tical, matter-of-fact, modern; toward 
the Financier it is "natural," sub- 
conscious, and old as the human race. 

In this first quarter of the Twen- 
tieth Century, the overwhelming 
majority still persist in our ages-old 
belief in supernatural outcomes — 
something from nothing. Indeed, it 
is probable that not one of us is 
quite liberated from the ancient thrall 
of superstition in some of its myriad 
aspects. So deeply ingrained in the 
fiber of human thought is the idea 
of magic causation, that this is still 
the "natural" explanation of any 
strange happening. 

Our common speech, our vocations, 
relaxations, institutions, (secular and 
sacred), are full to overflowing with 
evidence to the persistance of prac- 
tically universal belief in sorcery, de- 
monology, witchcraft, black-art and 

We legalize "chance" for the dis- 
tribution of wealth, for the "owner- 
ship" of property, and for success 
in life. 

We commercialize and institu- 
tionalize luck, gambling, speculation 
— socialize worship of the "fickle god- 

We pray "God" to pet and coddle 
us, and we bribe "Him" to clout 
without mercy those of whom we 

We supplicate rain for our little 
alfalfa patch — regardless of our 
neighbor's blossoming orchard. 

We "bless" our friends politely, 
and "curse" our enemies with pro- 
fuse elaboration. 

We have sanctified days, places, 
and things, not forgetting a fair- 
sized remnant of super-sanctified peo- 

We habitually apply the term "wiz- 
ard" to every man who produces 
results that arouse our wonder — 

Wizard of Invention, Wizard of Art, 
Wizard of Finance. 

We constantly talk of the Magic 
of invention, the Magic of art, the 
Magic of money. 

Still we ignore these facts and 
pretend that the modern use of hoary 
old witchcraft words is metaphorical, 
and that our continued use of Black 
Art and White Magic customs does 
not imply belief in Diabolism and 
necromancy as in the past. 

But association of ideas, race his- 
tory, nursery impressions, and com- 
munity heritage are all too strong for 
the strongest of us, so the best we at- 
tain is verbal and vociferous denial 
thinly and shamefacedly masking con- 
scious, subconscious, and unconscious 
belief in magic. 

Two Ways of Thinking. 

Add now the new factors, Modern 
Science and Printing, — with the con- 
comitant spread of scientific thinking 
— which knows not, repudiates, and 
wars with mystery, occultism, magic — 
and we have the perfectly natural re- 
sults which we see all around us: dis- 
agreements, disputes, strikes, lock- 
outs, riots, I. W. W.-ism, Bolshevism, 
revolutions, rebellions, World War; 
results the final outcome of which — 
depending upon general human intel- 
ligence — will make for unprecedented 
social progress or for anarchy and 
the downfall of present civilization. 

Mechanics, Modern Science and sci- 
entific mode of thinking practically be- 
gan with the Steam Engine and mod- 
ern machines of precision. 

Economics is coeval with the Hu- 
man Race. 

So it has come about that each one 
of us has two separate sets of ideas, 
two distinct ways of thinking — the 
Ancient and the Modern. 

Truth Resented. 
Even so, a statement that our (more 
or less) self-consistent "Financial Sys- 
tem" is to any serious extent con- 
structed out of unscientific fancies and 
rots upon nothing more solid than 
ancient superstition, is a shock to van- 
ity, as an insult to our intelligence: an 
insult directed not at the ignorant 
anion*- us or at the thoughtless ordin- 
ary citizen, but, at our leaders and our 



teachers, and at the "brilliant intel- 
lects" that control the world's activ- 
ities — the Premiers of Governments, 
the Kings of Commerce, the Emper- 
ors of Finance. 

Nonetheless, I believe the accusa- 
tion to be substantially true. 

For a Consideration. 

Under our modern business usages 
and economic customs, all social ac- 
tivities must be "financed"; every hu- 
man purpose from "winning souls to 
God" to building a toboggan slide hell- 
ward; from constructing a "little red 
schoolhouse" to destroying an empire; 
from borning to burying, every human 
enterprise must (as a matter of 
course), be "financed" — for a consid- 

In brief, the modern fashion in 
smoothly separating Doer and Maker 
from the desirable results of his doing 
and making, is by "financiering the 
enterprise" — for a consideration. 

For a thousand years prior to our 
"Finance" dispensation, human activi- 
ties and enterprises had to be (similar- 
ly) sanctioned by "the Church" — for a 

For a thousand years or more, prior 
to "the Church," enterprises had to 
be similarly sanctioned by "the Or- 
acle" — for a consideration. 

Fashions change, but human nature 
is more unchanging than the granite 
cliffs; and the art of painlessly part- 
ing producer from his products is as 
old as civilization and — Magic still is, 
as it always has been, the painless 
parter's most effective "device." 

Indeed, the art of separating the 
worker from the results of his indus- 
try is far older than the human race: 
animals swipe their neighbors' hoards, 
bears steal honey, and bee swarms rob 
each other. 

Aeons of time and ages of human 
experience have not resulted in any 
essential change in purpose and out- 
come, but only in rendering the pro- 
cess more workmanlike and less 

Animism in "Economics." 

A common feature in systems of 
magic is animism — attributing to in- 
animate objects the functions of life, 
assuming things to possess will, pur- 
pose, and power. 

It is significant (though quite in 
keeping) that "Economists" and "Fi- 
nanciers" have this characteristic at- 
titude of mind towards, and employ 
animistic forms of expression in writ- 
ing and talking about "Money" and 

Whether this is due to unconscious 
belief in magic or is mere metaphor, 
the result, in either case, is befogging 
confusion of thought. 

When the President of a great 
banking corporation, in a serious pub- 
lic discussion on "War Taxation," for 
example, says: 

"Capital has a long memory . . . "; 

"Capital is proverbially timid . . ."; 

". . . treason for capital and capi- 
talists . . . "; 

"... capital and men of enter- 
prise . . . "; 

"... capital and capitalists of to- 
day . . . "; 

he seems to be expressing nonsensical 
animism and belief in magic — magic 
no less crude and thinking no less na- 
ive and childlike than that of the av- 
erage man-on-the-street in his oft- 
stated conviction that "Money makes 
money," that "Dimes breed dollars," 
and suchlike popular aphorisms. 

Hazy verbal expression usually im- 
plies foggy thinking, and this is as 
true of the "highbrow" as of the rest 
of us. When language fails to clarify 
thought it is probable that the 
thoughts of its user need clarifying. 


Let us then (by means of a little 
paraphrastic amplification), endeavor 
to make clear just what our banker 
friend and adviser is really implying 
in these truly ear-catching phrases, 
which sound as though they really 
ought to mean something: 

Capital (i. e. a spade, or a plow, or 
a crowbar, is more favorably en- 
dowed than many of the human users 
thereof — it) has a long memory . . . 

Capital (i. e. a railroad, or a steam- 
ship, or a skyscraper is scared to be 
out alone after dark — it) is prover- 
bially timid . . . 

(It is) treason for capital (i. e. 
boilers and bullion, timber-land and 
mineral deposits, wharves and ware- 
houses to preach and practice the forc- 
ible overthrow of our government") 
and (likewise also for) capitalists 



(when either capital or capitalist is 
caught in the act, he, she or it should 
be shot, or at least fed on low diet 
in close confinement until repent- 
ant) . . . 

Capital and capitalists of today, (on 
account of their like human attrib- 
utes, should be treated with all due 
and tender consideration of their like 
human frailties and timid self-sacri- 
ficing characteristics) . . . 

1 wonder if this is precisely what 
friend Banker intended to imply, and 
us to understand him to mean. 

"Economic" Abracadabra. 

The literature of Wizardry — and it 
is amazingly voluminous — is charac- 
terized, both in word and in thought, 
by mind-racking unintelligible obscur- 
ity. It is curiously significant that 
the books devoted to modern Econom- 
ics and Finance are likewise couched 
in obscure jargon — abracadabra — not 
only meaningless to ordinary intel- 
ligence, but apparently also to the 
adepts in the alleged arts. 

Here are a few samples culled at 
random from a page in an article on 
"The Nature and Mechanism (!) of 
Credit," appearing in the Quarterly 
Journal of Economics: 

"... subjective value objecti- 
vised . . ."; 

"... force of value . . ."; 

"... psychic force . . ."; 

". . . generic purchasing power 

"... present good for future 
good . . ."; 

"... present value of future 
industrial worth . . ."; 
and the list might be almost indefi- 
nitely extended. 

Truly, I do not lack courage, but 
I throw up my hands — confronted by 
these weirdly mystic phrases! 

To me they seem as essentially 
meaningless as the twaddle of the 
March Hare and the Hatter that so 
puzzled poor Alice — in Wonderland. 
Subjected to mere commonsense an- 
alysis not one of these mysteriously 
cabalistic phrases seems to have any 
more meaning, or to have any more 
relation to actual things in a work-a- 
day world of Science and Mechanics, 
than the amazingly similar jargon of 

Kilkenny Cats. 

Practically every "Economist" writ- 
er invents his own vocabulary, and 
contradicts the statements of every 
other; they ridicule each other's rea- 
soning; and seemingly each denies the 
validity of all economic axioms but 
his own — they fight like Kilkenny 

A hurricane of verbalization has 
yowled and a flood of billingsgate has 
raged in this tempestuously wordy 
conflict of economic mysticism. Bank- 
ers flatly contradict Bankers; and 
Economists arrive at diametrically op- 
posite conclusions — from the same 

In no other department of human 
thought is there so much discord and 
confusion as in the "Science of Eco- 

But . . . ! the Financier — gets there 
just the same. 

Fact and Fancy. 

It is practically certain that none 
of us knows when or to what extent 
superstition, ignorant mysticism and 
animistic fallacies color and vitiate 
his otherwise rational thinking. It 
should not surprise us therefore, to 
find whole areas of activities still ob- 
sessed with this primitive mode of 
thought, nor that the actors therein 
are unconscious of their mental state. 

Would -it not be the greatest miracle 
of all were it otherwise? 

Thus it is in high degree probable 
that old fallacies and superstitions still 
infest and ramify (unsuspected) those 
activities which deal with life in its 
more than ordinary complex aspects — 
religion, philosophy, government, fin- 

These considerations (even without 
taking into account the ever-present 
factor of instinctive self-interest) suf- 
fice to make probability verge on cer- 
tainty, that all these departments of 
human activity involve an inextricable 
mingling of fact and fancy — science 
and superstition. 


Magic and Science — "Economics" 
and Mechanics — no contrast could be 
greater, no antithesis more complete; 
and between magic and science there 
must always be war. 



Just as the World War — with all its 
variety of aspects and complexities of 
motives — expresses the inherent con- 
flict between mutually exclusive and 
antagonistic social sys^ms — ancient 
Autocracy and modern democracy — 
so the world-wide social strife, indus- 
trial unrest, I. W. W.-ism, Bolshe- 
vism and other disruptive massisms, 
express, in last analysis the still more 
profound and equally unescapable con- 
flict between ancient Superstition and 
modern Science. 

Mumbo Jumbo. 

One of the commonest of human er- 
rors is that of mentally putting the 
cart before the horse — mistaking the 
effect for the cause and vice versa. 
We all reason more or less childishly, 
impressed by the obvious. 

In our childhood's games, custom 
(hoary with age) prescribes concur- 
rent forms of senseless words and ir- 
relevant acts, words and acts to which 
we ascribe such causative effect in the 
outcome that, to our childish minds, 
the game would be impossible without 
their magic. 

So, too, it is much the same with 
us, as grownups. 

In our social activities, custom 
(hoary with age and saturated with 
ancient superstitions) prescribes the 
mumbo jumbo we now call "financing 
the enterprise." And to our obsessed 
minds this voodoo becomes an all-im- 
portant factor of such causative effect 
that without its potent magic it would 
be unsafe, if not impossible, to build 
a schoolhouse or wage a war. 


We see with our eyes • the obvious 
fact that "financing" precedes and 
accompanies all undertakings and en- 
terprises; we see with our eyes that 
doings, and makings, and enterprises 
grow apace and increase most mar- 
velously, so — "naturally" — we ascribe 
to the "Financier" a large measure 
of effect in the outcome. 

And the source of the financier's 
power to do these "miracles" and 
work these wonders being mysterious 
and occult, we "naturally" concede 
him a large share of the proceeds, 
and we (equally naturally) accord to 
our modern Wizard (of "Finance") 

that respectful awe which in all past 
times we have been accustomed to 
render to his forebears and predeces- 
sors in magic — the Medicine Man, 
the Witch Doctor, the Soothsayer, 
the Oracle, the Astrologer, the Ma- 
gician, the Ecclesiastic. 

Custom and usage is merely con- 
tinuing its normal course in those 
two realms of activity now called 
Finance, and Productive Industry — 
Capital and Labor. 

D-e-b-t Spells Slavery. 

Enterprises (whether constructive 
or destructive, whether productive or 
unproductive, whether of peace or of 
war), when "financed," become in- 
debted to the "Financier" in propor- 
tion to their magnitude; hence, the 
harder the worker works, the more 
industrious and enterprising the 
Worker Community, the faster and 
greater grows the Community indebt- 
edness — a truly quaint, queer, curious 
and mysterious system of "econom- 

And the more closely it is exam- 
ined the more quaintly mysterious it 

Mystery is and always has been 
the "device" of the cunning to de- 
spoil and enslave the simple; and no 
fact of large social significance is 
today more glaringly apparent than 
the general and mysterious drift of 
desirable things out of the hands of 
those who make them into the con- 
trol of others. 

Equally clear is it that the motor 
"device" in this drift, taken by-and- 
large, is that mysterious process we 
call "financing the enterprise"; and 
by the same token its most efficient 
instrumentality is magic money and 
money magic. 

It is not necessary to assume con- 
scious intent on the part of the 
"Financier" to enslave the "Worker 
Masses", still, in a practical world it 
is the practical outcome not the in- 
tent that is of practical importance; 
and in the orthography of modern 
economics "slavery" is spelled with 
only four letters — D-E-B-T. 

The Magic Hat. 

As — "economically" (!) — debt im- 
plies interest "which flows to the 
capitalist without ever exhausting the 



capital from which it comes and 
therefore without any necessary limit 
to its continuance, it is . . . ca- 
pable of an everlasting life . . . 
a lifeless thing producing an ever- 
lasting and inexhaustible supply of 
goods" — steaks and steamships, welsh- 
rabbits and railroads, women and 
wine, dinners and diamonds, farms 
and factories; parks, palaces, pleas- 
ures, power — leisure and luxury, and 
all that lustful heart of man desires, 
all flowing in an everlasting, self- 
creating stream, not out of but into 
the magic hat — of the smiling finan- 
cial prestidigitator. 

But . . . ! the responsive smile 
is ominously fading from the faces 
of the dazed payers of the perform- 
ance, gazing in goggle-eyed perr. lex- 
ity at this quaint inversion of the 
familiar old magic-hat trick. 

Who? and What? 

Who are they from whose faces 
the smile is so ominously fading? 

What does the fading of the smile 

What does it portend? 

They — are "the people." 

Of them I have written heretofore: 
"They do not think (constructively) 
. . . they feel — feel hunger, feel 
passion — they feel with all the vital 
energy of the race. Thus when so- 
cial conditions become unbearable or 

threaten their vital function (repro- 
duction), they reflex with unre- 
strained ferocity. ..." 

That is what it means — the fading 
of the smile. 

What it portends is — Revolution. 


Is that — even as only a possibility 
— a worthwhile social outcome, con- 
sidering our stupendous National op- 

Is our present social condition one 
to which we can justly point with 
National pride? 

Is our present social condition 
worthy of National self-praise or of 
self-condemnation when we think of 
our century of nationally unhampered 
freedom and consider our vast con- 
tinental area of the most fertile, the 
most resourceful, and most favorably 
situated land and — the most intelli- 
gent mass of human kind on earth, 
on the job? 

Is our present social condition a 
goal for which an intelligent healthy- 
minded Nation would deliberately 

Is our present social condition the 
Objective for which we — as a Na- 
tion — have deliberately striven dur- 
ing our National life? 

What is — now — our National Ob- 

Fernwald, Berkeley, California. 
November 5, 1920. 



Second Series 


The Method of Solving Problems Generally 

And Our Social Problem in Particular. 

By William Henry Smyth 

Note: Part II of Technocracy — Second Series makes easily and clearly 
understandable a method of solving problems by disregarding details (ac- 
cidentals) and focusing on principles (essentials), and the peculiar applicability 
of this method to the social problems. 

In so applying it, it is shown that social forces and (human) materials 
are nature-given — unchangeable — and act in obedience to laws of nature 
(instinctive urges, etc.), but by the same method by which the mechanic 
utilizes "destructive" natural forces to subserve his human purposes, attains 
his ends, and prevents disaster, we may (and not otherwise) avoid impending 
social calamity — forestall revolution. 

Freedom of Choice. 

Nations, like individuals, have free- 
dom of choice to do well or ill — to act 
wisely or otherwise. 

Nations, like their human elements, 
are subject to growth, to degeneration, 
to catastrophe. They are subject, 
in other words, to evolution, devolu- 
tion, revolution. 

And, as in the case of individuals, 
their growth, health, freedom from 
accident — their continued prosperity — 
depends upon their knowledge of the 
laws of Nature and the intelligent use 
they make of this knowledge. 

"Great" and "Small." 

Seemingly "Nature" makes no more 
distinction between nations and indi- 
viduals — is no more considerate of 
millions than of units, than we are. 
toward an ant or a swarm of ants. 

Indeed, in the midst of the bil- 
lions of giant suns constituting our 
"Universe" the significance of our 
whole huge Earth and all its con- 
tents, animate, and inanimate, seems 
to shrink into absolute negligibility. 

But, "great" and "small" are human 

"Nature" is just as "great" in its 
smallest parts as it is "small" in its 
greatest. And it is human Intelligence 
which comprehends both the greatness 
of the telescopic universe of suns and 

solar systems, and the equal greatness 
of the microscopic "universe" of mole- 
cules and sub-molecules that make 
up a grain of sand. 


The practical point of this more or 
less philosophical introduction is that 
wc humans find ourselves on a mag- 
nificently equipped earth, endowed 
with freedom of choice to use or abuse 
our splendid opportunities, with the 
inevitable alternative of sanely joyous 
life or futily premature death. And 
we of the United States hold the most 
favorable portion of the globe and an 
unequalled physical and spiritual heri- 
tage, with corresponding magnitude 
of responsibility; responsibility flow- 
ing from and out of our God-given and 
God-like freedom of choice. 


It is not necessary (as is both cus- 
tomary and confusing) to read "pur- 
pose" into the "acts of Nature." It 
is enough to discern their unmistak- 
ably marked drift. 

This drift is a datum — a basic fact — 
that willy-nilly we must accept. 

It is this drift we call Evolution. 

But there is this distinction between 
Man and "Nature": Nature is imper- 
sonal, mechanistic; Man is endowed 
with Personality — intelligence and 



freedom of choice; and is thereby en- 
abled to become an active and pur- 
poseful participator in the processes of 
evolution, and by judiciously selecting 
his relation to the drift he becomes 
the sole responsible arbiter of his fate 
— the master of his destiny. 


But, can man's finite mind really 
discern and steer a certain course 
among the infinite complexities of the 

Why not? 

The difficulty is not nearly so great 
as many think. For every complexity 
is reducible to simplicity. 

Perhaps you have recently visited 
the California, one of our latest fight- 
ing ships. And being neither a naval 
man nor a mechanic, what you saw 
was probably a seemingly unintellig- 
ible and mind confusing mass of com- 
plexities, filling you with wonder, but 
also with helpless bewilderment. 


But, looked at the right way, the 
battleship would have been as easy 
reading as this sentence is to you. You 
would have automatically looked for 
the very few essential ideas — princi- 
ples — upon which every mechanism 
and every combination of mechanisms 
must be built; and these perceived, 
the rest would have been as simple 
as unrolling a ball of twine; for, after 
all, what you saw was only a dug-out 
with cobble-stones to throw at the 
enemy — modernized. 

Complex Machinery? 

You know that the battleship hull is 
merely a large floating sharp-ended 
box or shell. You know that it has 
motor means to give it motion; steer- 
ing means to give it direction; arma- 
ment to give it fighting efficiency. 

These simple essential elements 
equally characterize the primordial 
savage war-canoe and the modern civ- 
ilized battleship; and so considered 
one is no more bewildering than the 
other. And both are equally within 
the grasp of common-sense clear and 
ordered comprehension. 

As to the myriad minute details, by 
which these simple elements have 
gradually attained their modern re- 

finement, these are matters of merely 
incidental interest; each one of which 
complexities, however, could be re- 
duced to the same simplicity separ- 
ately — by the same method. 

Indeed, these separate elements con- 
stitute subject matters of separate 
arts, and they have been arrived at by 
the skilled mechanic by a process es- 
sentially corresponding to that which 
I have suggested to you, as the right 
way of looking at the battleship. 

Fictitious Complexity. 

The Mechanic knows no more about 
the ultimate nature (i. e. details) of 
the matter, materials, and forces 
which he employs, than you knew 
about the details of a fighting craft. 

All he knows or cares about are a 
few basic facts, the simple principles 
(elements) of Mechanics, and he pro- 
duces his results, so bewildering to 
you in their fictitious complexity, by 
applying these simple principles to 
whatever task he tackles. 


You will not charge me with ego- 
tism if I remind you that I am talk- 
ing as one who has been there. 

In my long experience as inventor, 
as inventor's adviser, as expert in a 
multitude of technical questions and 
patent litigations involving matters 
of the most intricate character, I 
have never found my method of lay- 
ing hold of the principles to fail; and 
I have never encountered another 
that will work. 


Now this method, though unfor- 
tunately far from universally prac- 
ticed, is quite universally available. 

There is no reason in the world 
why you should not employ it as 
well, and with the same confidence, 
as I. For it rests, not upon a spe- 
cial endowment or any particular at- 
tainment, but on the commonsense 
discernment that every effect has a 
cause, and that at the bottom of a 
cluster of interrelated effects one 
must reach a simple cause. 

Universal Applicability. 

This effective method of attack is 
seemingly of universal applicability, 



and you should now be able to rec- 
ognize its use by me in the various 
articles of mine that you have read. 
You may also fathom the cause and 
foundation of the seemingly egotis- 
tical confidence with which I, a 
mere mechanic, plunge headlong into 
the all-but-sacred-and-awe-inspiring 
region of Sociology, Economics, and 
Finance — and unhesitatingly invite 
you to follow me. 

The method has in the past en- 
abled me to successfully pioneer in 
quite a number of arts in the details 
of which I was as ignorant as I am 
of those of Economics and Finance. 
Thus I do not feel that I am sug- 
gesting to you a course fraught with 
any more danger than that normal 
to being alive; either when I recom- 
mend your adoption of my method 
of attacking problems generally or in 
my asking you to follow me in my 
application of it to our "Social Prob- 

Why Pessimistic? 

You Mall remember that the first 
part of this series ended somewhat 
pessimistically envisaging an ominous 
prospect and causative influences 
seemingly deep-seated and running 
back into the mists of antiquity. The 
great mass of the people are becom- 
ing more and more discontented with 
their condition, more and more per- 
plexed concerning its cause, and more 
and more bewildered (and increas- 
ingly impatient) as to the course to 
be pursued. 

To all with eyes to see it is clear 
that the social body is profoundly 
sick. And equally clear, that to cure 
a sickness, one must remove the 
cause; and that unless the cause is 
so removed, the sickness will run its 
course — possibly to death. 

Forestall Revolution. 

In the social body, when the 
process of sickness (such as we are 
now passing through) reaches a crit- 
ical point, another phase or phe- 
nomenon usually supervenes to save 
the moribund body from actual ex- 
tinction: Revolution. 

And just as it is the task of a sick 
man to fight off death, so our social 

problem, in its essence, is the task 
of forestalling Revolution. 

Remember the California. 

With our visit to the warship in 
mind, let us now prepare to apply 
to our Social Problem the method 
there tried out. 

We must first of all ascertain and 
grasp securely the simple basic prin- 
ciples on which the mechanism of 
the social body is built. This will 
carry us out of the maze of confus- 
ing details into the clearness of or- 
dered comprehension. 

We shall then be in a position to 
make an intelligent diagnosis of the 
social disorder, and to at least think 
clearly regarding the remedial course 
to be adopted. 

And, lest there be needless appre- 
hension, t let us note right here that 
it will not be necessary for us to 
lay down the curative (or recon- 
structive) procedure in its particu- 
lars — "a practical remedy" in detail. 
Just as on the battleship we should 
find experts competent to execute 
the details of any change found de- 
sirable, so we have in the social ag- 
gregation technicians to perform the 
corresponding tasks. 

What Evolution Is Not. 

No word is more on people's lips 
than "Evolution"; and none is more 
frequently misused, and misunder- 

Social Evolution is often talked of 
as if it were a cosmic process forced 
on men wholly from the outside, re- 
gardless of their yea and nay; or 
again as if it were a beneficent dis- 
pensation "from on high" that some- 
how, and regardless of men's acts, 
will float them to the haven of social 

The typical expression of this 
last extraordinary misconception is: 
"Things will right themselves!" 

What Evolution Is. 
In so far as "Social Evolution" is 
used not merely as a pretentious 
label for any adventitious change, 
but for a continuing process analo- 
gous to that which has produced the 
animate world, from amoeba to Man, 
Social Evolution is indeed a "Nat- 



ural'' force which Alan must accept 
and to which he must adjust him- 
self as to all other forces of Nature, 
but which, like any other natural 
force, is available to Man for the 
accomplishment of his own purposes. 
Thus — and this is the decisive point 
— Man is not the helpless object of 
this evolutionary force, but a par- 
ticipating subject — a Master Me- 

Man's Will. 
It is nonsense to say Capitalism 

mu^t persist or that Socialism must 
come, by virtue of social evolution. 
whether men desire either one or the 
other or neither. Men in their social 
relations are not dust motes blown 
hither and thither by evolutionary 
winds. Men are intelligent beings, 
with freedom of choice; that is, free 
to use their intelligence. 

Use their intelligence for what? 

Obviously not for the purpose of 
trying to re-make Man — to treat as 
negligible basic traits fixed by suc- 
cessive survival through a million 
generations; or of attempting to alter 
the eternal forces of Nature. 

That were vain indeed! 

Natural forces, in social as well as 
in molecular and molar mechanics, 
in social as well as in biological evo- 
lution, are inexorable. They are not 
hostile to Man, neither are they 
friendly; they are simply regardless 
of him — impersonal. 

If the}' have any "will", they show 
none toward Man. 

But Man has will. Man has pur- 

Man can! — if he will.*. . 

Man's Way. 

How then does Man do his will, 
work his purpose? 

To him who tries to see below the 
surface it is clear that purposeful 
action invariably is pivoted on a ju- 
dicious choice of the man's position 
in relation to the circumstances which 
he confronts. 

This is true even of the trite con- 
ditions of our daily lives: even these 
are usually determined for us. Our 
real freedom of action means our 
choice of different ways of placing 
ourselves in relation to these con- 

ditions — as a sailor, to keep his de- 
sired course, sets Ids sail with- ref- 
erence to the wind. 

Choice of Relation. 

It is even so with the greatest 
affairs, with the concerns of the Na- 
tion, with our whole Social Problem. 

Certain forces face and envelop us 
that we cannot change. But we can 
set our social sails and order our 
actions in relation to them and thus 
mediately affect the course of our 
social craft in the direction of a hu- 
manly desirable, predetermined goal. 

If our choice is unwise, those 
forces will run to our hurt. If we 
choose wisely, we may make a force 
seemingly opposed to our aim — sub- 
serve it. Thus we can convert what 
otherwise would have led to destruc- 
tion into constructive upbuilding — 
change malefaction into benefaction, 
criminality into social service, gen- 
eral nuisance into commonweal. 

Preventable Calamities. 

Think of the Johnstown flood, the 
San Francisco fire, the Titanic dis- 
aster, the frequent destructive over- 
flow of the Mississippi, the recurring 
inundations of the Sacramento Val- 

All these represent Nature acting 
regardless of Man; and Man acting 
regardless of his own intelligence. 

In all these cases natural forces 
overwhelmed Man with calamity be- 
cause he had failed to exercise his 
intelligence in rightly choosing his 
relation toward these forces. 

After Event Wisdom. 

After the destruction of Johns- 
town, the seasonal floodwaters were 
wisely impounded — to prevent a repe- 
tition of the disaster. 

After the San Francisco fire, build- 
ings were wisely constructed of steel 
and concrete and an adequate water 
supply provided — to prevent a repe- 
tition of the disaster. 

After the Titanic and her human 
cargo had perished, her sister ship 
was wisely fitted with a double cel- 
lular bottom, and other provisions^ — 
to prevent a repetition of the dis- 

After seasonal floods of Sierra 



snow waters have, time and again, 
destroyed, wholesale, men's works 
and the products of their industry, 
engineering measures are contem- 
plated in our great valley — to prevent 
the recurring disasters. 

Why Not Before? 

The Johnstown people knew their 
danger from flood! 

The San Franciscans knew their 
peculiar danger from fire! 

The owners of the Titanic knew 
the danger from icebergs! 

And all of us in the United States 
now — except those deliberately ob- 
structing their mental vision with 
blinkers of happy-go-lucky optimism 
— realize our impending danger from 

There is nothing so foolish and 
ultimately disastrous as to blink un- 
pleasant facts; "saying peace, peace: 
when there is no peace." 

This blinking of facts — "trusting 
to luck", trusting that "things will 
right themselves"- — is the true cause 
of disaster. 

Shall we of the United States act 
like those foolish ones and like them 
suffer for our foolishness? 

Shall we continue to act with 
equal foolishness and enact silly "pro- 
hibition" and other repressive laws 
intended to accomplish the impos- 
sible — change fundamental human in- 
stincts and overturn the unalterable 
laws of Nature? 

Shall we, like Europe, wait to learn 
wisdom from social catastrophe — 

I hope not. 

Ways and Means. 

My hope that we shall forestall rev- 
olution will undoubtedly be echoed by 
all true Americans. 

But that our hope may be fulfilled, 
we cannot trust to luck or that things 
will right themselves. 

It will be necessary above all that 
we act, and not only act, but act 
intelligently. And we seem, as yet, 
far from anything like a general un- 
derstanding and agreement as to 
what must be done and what can be 

We cannot (and we would not if wc 
could) prevent the snow falling on the 

Sierras. We cannot prevent that 
snow from melting when and how fast 
it will. No matter how much we 
may prefer a nicely and "benevolent- 
ly" calculated graduation, we cannot 
prevent a sudden and "malevolently" 
unseasonable rise of temperature and 
sudden starting of a thousand "dev- 
ilishly" destructive freshets. 

Adjust Ourselves. 

But we can protect the forests, im- 
pound flood waters, regulate stream 
channels, build reservoirs, dams and 
levees. In short, we can forestall 
destruction flowing from impersonally 
neutral natural forces, which in them- 
selves aie unpreventable. 

Every one knows how much in that 
way we have already accomplished, 
and how much more is planned. 

We are not, however, confined to 
prevention. Flood waters, which 
would devastate, can be (and, as well 
known, are) turned into priceless 
means of production. By intelligence 
and skill and purposefulness they are 
made the means of reclaiming for 
man's use the desert, and of "gener- 
ating" light and power, and of helping 
to build up what may, and what many 
of us loyal Californians firmly believe 
will, become the apex of human cul- 
ture, the highest and truest civiliza- 
tion on earth. 

Immutable Nature. 

The point of application is plain. 
There are about us social forces that 
in themselves are just as little under 
our control as are the snow fall and 
thaw. Left to themselves they must 
run their "natural" course. And, like 
as not before we have time to catch 
our breath, the flood will be upon us; 
that direst deluge of all — Revolution. 

We cannot change the elemental 
facts of human nature. 

Unchangeable Types. 

In the first part of the first series 
of these Technocracy papers I have 
sketched in outline the origin and de- 
velopment of the primal instincts and 
propensities. These are as fixed as 
natural forces. They ai <•, indeed, nat- 
ural forces. 

We cannot change a bellicose man 
into a pacifist — a Roosevelt into a 



Wilson; nor a feeder and breeder into 
a philosopher; nor the acquisitive in- 
to the inventive. We cannot by any 
direct act abolish or even change sel- 
fishness, cunning, greed, cowardice, 
jusl as little as it would avail to try 
(and it has been tried) to eradicate 
courage, generosity, industry, public 

Human Material. 

To the social philosopher and the 
enlightened social reformer, and best 
of all to the plain citizen taking 
thought of these matters, the first step 
in the right direction, the first basic 
principle that must underlie an under- 
standing of the present Social Dis- 
order and be imbedded in the founda- 
tion of the Social Order to come, 
should be the real and effective recog- 
nition that all that may be accom- 
plished must be accomplished with 
the existing human material. 

Not Angels. 

There is nothing in this proposition 
to cause dejection to any one except 
to those who think our only salva- 
tion lies in our acquiring halos and 
growing wings. 

To many of us there is much deeper 
satisfaction and cause for hopefulness 
in the fact that, thanks to the Scien- 
tist, the Inventor, and the Mechanic, 
flying has become mechanically pos- 
sible, than sorrow over the circum- 
stance that our heads are not heboid 
and the skin covering our scapulas 
(male or female) remains as bare of 
feathers as before. 


It is indeed the Scientist, the Inven- 
tor and the Mechanic who must, as I 
propose to show, guide and help us on 
our way — if we are to achieve social 

Let our Scientists prove intelligent, 
our Inventors resourceful, our Me- 
chanics skillful, and us ready to draw 
on our combined common-sense and 
courage, there need be little fear that 
our work of Social Reconstruction will 
be brought to naught by inadequate 
human material. 

Reconstruction: That and no less we 

must attempt if we arc to prevent 
disaster — forestall Revolution. 

Simple Principles. 

The obvious prerequisite to our 
beginning our reconstructive work is 
an understanding of ourselves and 
the existing social mechanism. 

And to gain such understanding 
we shall follow the method outlined 
in connection with our visit to the 

We shall refuse to be daunted by 
surface and fictitious intricacy and 
the multiplicity of details. 

We shall seek out the simple es- 
sentials, and we shall remember: 

First, that every mechanism what- 
ever, no matter how vast and com- 
plicated, is built on simple princi- 

Second, that it would be imprac- 
tical and futile to specify "a prac- 
tical remedy" or to lay down a 
"practical program of reconstruction" 
till we practically agree on social 
principles and practically agree on 
the purpose of the proposed social 

Third, that laying hold of such 
principles is like unlocking a door; 
and a knowledge of the principles of 
the social structure is the key (and 
the only key) to an understanding 
of the whole of it and of how it 

This last implies that it is needful 
also to note that to know how a 
mechanism works is as requisite as 
to know how it is made. Its work- 
ing as well as its structure must 
be understood. But a knowledge of 
a structure almost certainly brings 
with it a like knowledge of its work- 

It will therefore be our task to 
separate society into its very few 
and very simple main parts, and to 
observe their activities and the work- 
ing of society as a whole. 

Natural Groups. 

Obviously the units of society are 
the human beings comprising it. 

As I have set forth earlier, these 
human units naturally arrange them- 



selves, by virtue of their economic 
traits, into natural groups. These 
groups, then, are the essential (main) 
parts of the social mechanism. 

When we have learned to under- 
stand them, their interrelation, and 
their functioning — their natural work- 
ing — we have learned to understand 
society as a whole. 

Having learned this, our ideas re- 
garding "Reconstruction" will have 
become clear, precise, and practically 

Unchangeable Human Nature. 

Let us take a forward look here, 
in order to better know where we 
are at, and where we are going. 

We cannot change human nature; 
on that we are, I hope, agreed. The 
human units are beyond the reach of 

Can we reconstruct their group- 
ings — the social elements? 

If I am right in holding that these 
groupings are the expression of im- 
manent economic traits, and thus the 
working out of "human nature", 
these too are fixed facts. 

The essential social elements are 
also not subject to Reconstruction. 

What, then, in heaven's name, I 
almost hear you cry out, is there 
left to reconstruct? 

Ask — Tin Lizzy. 

If you had dealt as much with ma- 
chinery as I, you would not be puz- 
zled. And you will cease to be puz- 
zled as soon as you reflect a little. 

And — your tin Lizzy can tell you 
all about it. 

Ask her, nicely and properly, she 
will tell you: 

Her besetting vice is friction; but 

Fernwald, Berkeley, California. 
November 11, 1920. 

without friction she could do noth- 
ing — either praiseworthy or reprehen- 

Lacking friction: instead of being 
a jocund joy, she would be use- 
lessly futile tinware. 

She will skittishly skid on a greasy 
road, or stall in loose sand because 
of — insufficient friction. 

But, also, she will refrain from 
these improprieties, answer her 
brake, and conform to your will only 
— because of friction. 

It is friction getting in its deadly 
work when her joints and journals 
screech for oil; and it is friction 
that compels you to everlastingly buy 
and replace her worn-out in'ards. 

But, and finally, she speeds her 
flirtatious chu-chu-ing way on the 
level and chug-chugs laboriously up- 
hill — God bless her — by friction. 

Freedom of Choice. 

One and the same force, then, will 
work both "good" and "ill", depend- 
ing on the conditioning interrela- 
tions — our selected relation toward 
the neutral natural force, — our pur- 

Just so, one and the same machine 
part, or one and the same social ele- 
ment, will under different conditions 
of interrelation or coordination pro- 
duce totally different or even oppo- 
site results — depending on our choice 
of purpose. 

In brief, what we can reconstruct 
is the interrelation of the social ele- 
ments. And such reconstruction 
must proceed from a clear concep- 
tion of what end the whole social 
mechanism is to serve — our National 
choice of purpose — our National Ob- 





Second Series 


A Working Method for a Workable Understanding 
Of the Social Problem and of a Workable Reconstruction. 

By William Henry Smyth 

Note: Proceeding from the understanding reached in Part II, that the 
natural social forces are fixed facts which cannot be altered, Part III shows 
how they may be utilized for a human social purpose. 

It shows that while human freedom must act within rigid laws of na- 
true, it is not thereby limited. The intelligent realization of this fact has 
made the mechanic effective and his accomplishments possible; failure to attain 
this insight in social relations has produced what we call the "social problem." 

Microscopic Scratch to Panama Canal. 

Seemingly there is no physical task 
beyond the capability of the Me- 

Measuring and weighing machines 
accurately determining relations of 
ultra-microscopic minuteness up to 
those of cosmic magnitude; machines 
for production, for transportation, for 
reclamation, for communication; ma- 
chines of all grades of size and of 
power, and of capacity, and of preci- 
sion — from bolometer measuring vari- 
ations in pressure of light-waves trav- 
ersing infinite space to dreadnaught 
delivering its accurately placed and ir- 
resistible thousand-ton blows; from 
the hundred thousand in an inch ac- 
curately spaced diffraction-grating 
scratches to Culebra earth-gash of the 
Panama Canal: 

These are some of the works of the 

Methods Right and Wrong. 

Clearly it is pertinent to our in- 
quiry to ask: How does he do it 

When we note in one department of 
human effort certainty and success, 
and in another confusion and failure, 
it is more reasonable to infer that a 
deep-seated difference in method ol 
procedure is involved than that the 
brains and intelligence of humanity 
have accidentally drifted into the one 
and deserted the other department. 

The validity of this inference is em- 
phasized by our common impression 
that Mechanics are more or less hum- 
ble and low-brow, commonplace and 
ordinary fellows, while our Econo- 
mists, Sociologists and Financiers are 
by-and-large haughty and high-brow, 
brainy and rather extraordinary per- 

The Mechanic's Wisdom. 

Probably the most characteristic at- 
titude of the mechanic toward the 
forces and materials with which he 
deals is unquestioning acceptance of 
the fact that he cannot change or any- 
wise modify the laws of nature or the 
qualities of materials. 

The mechanic, like the rest of us, 
wants to accomplish a multitude of 
purposes. Having determined upon the 
object of his desires, be it a machine 
to do something, or a change in the 
location of physical things, he pro- 
ceeds upon the assumption which I 
have indicated: that he is debarred 
from changing or even modifying 
either the laws of nature or the char- 
acter of materials; and so sets to work 
to get a clear understanding of these 
laws and of the characteristics of the 
materials involved. Then he so se- 
lects his relation to the appropriate 
forces and materials that thereby 
(through their natural causc-and-ef- 
fect functioning) his purpose is accom- 



Nature Dynamic 

But, what do we mean by "Laws of 

We do not mean a catalogue of in- 
ert, dead "facts." 

A law of nature implies motion, not 
rest — Universal Energy in universal 
orderly activity — it is not a static, but 
a dynamic concept. 

It is the description of a process and 
the conditions under which it runs. 
Essentially it is a precise statement of 
the simple notion — based on experi- 
ence — that if something happens, 
something else will happen as a con- 

Nature is dynamic — it is eternal Do- 

Ceaseless change is of Nature's es- 

Even what we call inert matter is 
constantly changing and undergoing 
elaboration and displacement. 

What does not change are certain 
relations, which we spell out under 
the notion of cause and effect. 

Thus a law of nature is the expres- 
sion of what is ever changeless within 
the ever changing. 

Freedom Through Knowledge. 

It is such clear and adequate under- 
standing of and conformity to the laws 
of nature that gives to the Mechanic 
his freedom of action — his certainty, 
his success. 

He goes to his task neither cowed 
by the irresistible natural forces nor 
ignorantly contemptuous of them. He 
knows them: and with his objective 
clear before him, he so makes his 
selection among them and so chooses 
his relation to them that his work may 
be accomplished through their service 
— through Universal Energy. 

The Mechanic's purposive freedom 
(expressed in his accomplishments) is 
made effective through knowledge of, 
but by, Nature's Causative Activity. 

Neutral Nature. 

Nature is neutral to Man, to his 
hopes and his fears, his projects or his 
lack of them. 

Neutrality, however, does not neces- 
sarily imply passivity. There is a neu- 
trality in action as well as a neutrality 
in rest: A swimmer's choice of direc- 
tion is not diminished if he can take 

advantage of currents flowing in the 
chosen course, but on the contrary, his 
effective liberty is thereby enhanced. 

And the last word of Science is that 
"Nature" is an infinitely directioned 
but orderly flow of Universal Energy 
— currents infinitely directioned and 
available to liberate all who will pa- 
tiently study them, and to realize all 
their rational purposes. 

It is in this sense that there is truth 
in the otherwise inexact statement 
that the mechanic has learned to "con- 
trol" nature. 

As a matter of fact, he does not 
"control" nature. 

As a matter of fact, also, nature 
does not "control" him. 

Doing the Impossible. 

Some of you will remember the 
time, not so very, very many years 
ago, when aeronautics was still in 
the balloon stage, and when at our 
own university here in Berkeley one 
of our most revered and renowned 
and forward - looking scientists 
"demonstrated" that flight by a heav- 
ier-than-air contrivance was a phys- 
ical impossibility — as contravening 
certain laws of nature. 

As we all know, the Professor was 
wrong. But his error did not come 
from overrating the laws of nature, 
but from underrating man's freedom 
and ingenuity in choosing his rela- 
tion to them. 

The fact of gravitation is beyond 
the will of man and mechanic — leave 
it or lump it. It is just the same as 
it was when the Professor asserted 
the impossibility of the aeroplane. 
Yet now the overhead whirr (that 
still thrills some of us) has become 
so familiar that busy men hardly 
look up. 

How was this seeming miracle ac- 

In essence: by a design calculated 
to put the aviator in suitable speed 
relation to that proverbially lightest 
of things, the air, and thus its nat- 
ural (upthrust) resilient energy coun- 
terbalances natural (downthrust) 
gravitational "pull". 

In short, the mechanic utilized nat- 
ural forces appropriately — placed him- 
self in appropriate relation — and thus 
attained his desired objective. 



But, the mechanic, no more than 
the animal, the fish, or the bird, 
"controls" these forces of nature. 

Conditioned: Not Limited. 

The wind bloweth where it listeth. 
Of the forces of nature man cannot 
alter a jot. But he has practically 
unlimited scope for determining his 
own relation with regard to them. 

Man does not control nature. 

But man can utilize the active 
forces of nature — without limit. 

The "Practical Mechanic" has 
learned this lesson, as he has also 
learned to utilize nature to attain his 
own objectives — hence his ' success. 

The Social Mechanic (sociologist 
and economist) has learned neither; 
— hence his failure. 

Considering the limitless extent and 
infinite complexity of nature, there 
is thus given to Man an equally un- 
limited scope for his activity — even 
to the point, as shown by the prac- 
tical mechanic, of attaining the "Im- 

This holds good of all men's as- 
pirations and activities, in his social 
arrangements no less than in his me- 
chanical contrivances. In one as in 
the other he has infinite choice. 

Man may attempt the seeming im- 
possible — and succeed! 

Man is free! 

What Is Freedom? 

With respect to the laws of na- 
ture, and the mechanic's attitude to- 
ward them, may we not now feel 
that we are on firm ground? 

But, what do we mean by "free- 

Freedom! Invoked by myriad- 
voiced chorus, called in vain by ig- 
norance and folly! Spirit of de- 
mocracy, yet not understood by de- 

Endless foolish talk of freedom, 
with all manner of etherial attenua- 
tions of metaphysical abstractions, 
perfervid declamation, profound mis- 

What I mean by Freedom is ex- 
ceedingly simple; but directly this 
meaning is grasped, the light it sheds 
on social relations becomes all-illu- 

Freedom in matters social is pre- 

cisely what I have shown to be the 
mechanic's freedom in his dealings 
with the forces of nature. 
No more, no less. 

Free to Choose. 

The mechanic is not free to change, 
he is free to choose the facts and 
forces of nature. He is free to use 
them as he wills, to his own and 
others' good or — hurt. 

Neither can you or I change the 
social forces, the social materials. 
But you and I and all of us to- 
gether are free to choose and use 
them for a predetermined purpose 
and our advantage; but unused, they 
— with cosmic indifference — quite 
commonly run to our undoing. 

The human units and essential 
group elements of the social struc- 
ture and their natural laws are as 
much nature-given, nature-made and 
nature-determined, as the units, ele- 
ments, and laws of the mechanic's 
constructions. They are the facts, 
the data which we must accept, as 
the mechanic accepts the character- 
istics and functions of the wood, or 
clay, or iron, or wedge, or lever, or 
whatnot of his craft. 

The Only Way. 

If Society and Social Reconstruction 
are to exercise freedom, it can only 
be by wise selection and purposeful 
utilization of the material offered by 

Chemist, electrotechnician, metal- 
lurgist, farmer, plant "originator", and 
animal breeder— all (in effect) so ap- 
preciate the rationale of their activi- 
ties, and thus gain success. 

When the stock-breeder wants cows 
that produce more milk or heavier 
beeves, he does not pray, nor employ 
magic, nor serve, notice of specifica- 
tions on nature. What he does is to 
get busy with actually existing cows 
and beeves, in whose make-up he 
has no say whatever; and by apply- 
ing his knowledge of genetics and 
crossing the appropriate strains, he 
finally gets what he is after. So 
far from "controlling" nature and 
essaying to dictate to her, he is her 
humble, patient and painstaking pupil. 
And so it is that he, after all (in 
effect), "makes" her do his will. 



Let "Nature" Do It. 

No one will more heartily agree 
with the Mechanic's Philosophy, as 
I have outlined it, than my friend 
Luther Burbank. He knows in high- 
est degree how nature's "secrets" may 
be learned; not evoked by magic or 
any form of wizardry; not wrested 
by flying in the face of nature's laws 
or by nullifying natural forces; but 
gained by patient search, by persist- 
ent study, judicious choice, and intel- 
ligent application to a well defined 
purpose — objective. That is, exercis- 
ing one's freedom in choosing his rela- 
tion to the facts of nature. Man did not 
make the myriad-spike-armed cactus. 
But, Burbank has induced "Nature" to 
make the heretofore hostile cactus, 

And so also, Dr. Jacques Loeb, Dr. 
Ritter, and the other biologists search- 
ing for the secret of how "life is 
made" and conceivably to "make" it 
themselves, they all, I feel confident, 
are imbued by the same understand- 
ing and in essence follow the same 

Re "Social Problem." 

This and no other must be our 
method in dealing with our Social 
Problem. Not otherwise will a (hu- 
manly desirable) New Order ever 
arise from the existing Social Dis- 

For this Disorder is the resultant 
of natural (social) forces, forces to- 
wards which men, failing to exercise 
their freedom of choice, have taken 
no defined and socially purposive po- 
sition at all or an irrational position, 
i. e. in opposition to natural social 
forces. And these social forces will 
and must obey their immanent laws 
and run their nature-appointed course, 
even to the obliteration of civilization 
and civilized man's destruction, unless 
and until he becomes fully aware of 
the situation, learns to know the social 
forces and their laws which he con- 
fronts, and deals rationally with them 
as does the mechanic with the natural 
forces in his department of effort. 

Let Man — in social relation — but 
reach such competence of insight and 
competence of action as the Mechanic 
has already attained and the horizon 

of the socially attainable will be ex- 
tended immeasurably. 


It is not unnatural that so many pro- 
posals for social betterment should 
encounter scepticism. The man who 
waves them aside with the (to him) 
conclusive '"impossible," is less of an 
impossibilist than the typical "reform- 
er" who makes them. For those pro- 
posals commonly rest, not on scien- 
tific knowledge of the natural laws 
involved and a competent technology 
in dealing with them, but on mere 
wish-father-to-the-t hought; fro m 
which pedigree nothing comes but 

But a suggestion for social action, 
no matter how unprecedented, how 
"impractical," no matter how startling 
on the surface and to superficial in- 
spection, if it discloses itself as se- 
curely founded on the facts and laws 
of society, will claim criticism of a 
very different order. 

Only the self-interested will hurl 
angry epithets. 

Only the unthinking will then cry 

Only the impractical will cry "Give 
us a practical remedy," "Give us a 
practical program of reconstruction." 

And when the basic point of view 
which I am here abbreviatedly setting 
forth shall have gained acceptance, it 
will follow that what is now labelled 
impractical and socially impossible 
will be universally regarded as the 
matter-of-course; just as the "imprac- 
tical" and "impossible" airplane of 
twenty years ago is with us, now, an 
every-day reality. 

Absurdity Rampant! 

If my extended experience with in- 
venting had not taught me so securely 
that the most formidable obstacles 
and difficulties dissolve of themselves, 
as it were, before the method which 
I am outlining, and what victories 
over the "impractical" and "impos- 
sible" may thus be won, I do not 
know that I should have the heart for 
any sociologizing; so great and gro- 
tesque is the contrast between what 
humanly is and what humanly ought 
to be. 

Look about in any direction: You 



find absurdity running rampant — run- 
ning Society. 

Ubiq. H. C. L. 

Charmed if not charming symbol 
of man's economic ineptitude — 
H. C. L. 

Tons of paper and printer's ink and 
myriad dynes of linguistic energy have 
been used up in vain speculative ef- 
forts to track it to its lair, to stop its 
soaring, to understand, to curb, to con- 
trol it. 

And while the writing and disputing, 
learned and unlearned, are at their 
hottest, — lo! things mysteriously be- 
gin to happen. 

Howls and Grins. 

Wool drops 50 per cent and — a mil- 
lion-dollar howl goes up from the 

Wheat, which sold at three dollars a 
few months ago, is now precariously 
hanging about two dollars. The price 
of cotton has been cut in two since 
spring. Cattle and hogs on the hoof 
have slumped. Prices of staple fruits 
are down — billion-dollar-shrieks from 
the agriculturalist. 

City man grins. 

Why Blame Anyone! 

In the why of these ground-and- 
lofty acrobatic performances o f 
"prices" I am not at present interest- 
ed. But what does interest me— and 
you — at this point is the difference in 
emotional response from different por- 
tions of the American people. 

Roars of rage from the farmer: 

A nascent smile — a flickering grin 
— of hope on the faces of the urban 

Would you blame the farmer? 

I don't. 

He must raise "high-priced" crops 
on his "high-priced" land — blessed 
are the land-speculators and boosters! 
How else could he make "interest," 
let alone a "profit," on his "invest- 
ment"? — blessed our system of finance 
and financiers and "financiering the 

And is not everyone legitimately, 
necessarily, "naturally" out for the 

Said a Hayward poultryman a little 
while ago (a very decent good-natured 

fellow, quite undistinguished for re- 
pacity) : "I hope eggs go to two dol- 
lars a dozen." 

Can you blame him? 

I don't. 

Do you blame any "profiteer"? 

I don't. 

Would you blame Mr. City Con- 
sumer for rejoicing at Mr. Farmer's 

I don't. 


Let us note parenthetically that Mr. 
City Consumer's joy is, as yet, only 

The decline in values on the farm 
has not, as yet, penetrated into his 
grocery store — with marked visibility. 
(Maybe it will not.) And his (decline- 
in-wool-inspired) scouting of clothiers' 
show windows has not, as yet, dis- 
closed any hope-confirming tags. 

Perhaps, indeed, though wool go 
down fifty per cent, suits may go up 
another fiftv. 

Why not? 

Is not our "economic system" equal 
to almost anything — preposterous? 

It "naturally" makes every citizen an 
enemy of every other! 

"One man's misfortune is another's 

Of course! Naturally. 

Serious Questions. 

What are farms and farming to the 
city dweller? 

What is the city man to the farmer? 

What is the householder to the 

What are they all to the laborer? 

What is the laborer to them all? 

What are producer and consumer to 
the Nation? 

Where is there any understandable 
and unifying interest? 

Civil War. 

You cut yourself down to one fire 
in your house because coal is so dear; 
but West Virginia and Alabama have 
been enjoying the diversion of civil 
war, because the coal miners want 
more wages. And they are as far 
from sybaritism as you are from be- 
ing a miser. 

But the Coal Barons do not lan- 

Truly our grotesque "economic sys- 



tern" is equal to almost anything pre- 

Obviously it is equal to producing 
the quaint, Alice in Wonderland, re- 
sult of placing one good and amiable 
American in Hayward and another 
equally good and equally amiable 
American in Berkeley into a relation 
of active antagonism in life and death 
hostility of interests and aims; hos- 
tility as real, as necessary, as "nat- 
ural," as if they were members, not of 
a supposedly unified nation, but sub- 
jects of two atrocious nations — at 
war with each other. 

Quaint hardly expresses it . . .eh? 

Those Patched Breeches! 

Why has wool, let us say, dropped 
in price? 

Because, say the "economists and 
financiers," the world's market for 
wool is overstocked. 

Think of it! 

But how on earth has it become 

Think of it. 

If a tithe we are told about Europe 
is true, half her people have hardly 
rags wherewith to cover their naked- 
ness. And we dwellers in the richest 
land of the earth (and, as we some- 
times fancy, owners thereof) have we 
not been performing marvels of skill 
and patience (ye gods, how long it 
seems!) in patching sleeve elbows, in 
patching shoes, in patching breeches 
seats, in patching our ragged tempers, 
and in pretending that — if we have one 
— an overcoat is appropriate for sum- 
mer wear and — public appearance. 


A sheepraiser in the Sacramento 
valley will tell you he is compelled to 
warehouse his present season's clip 


"Wool is not now saleable"!- — 
"There is no demand whatever!" 

No demand for wool! Mark that. 

And, of course no one feels the 
slightest desire for a new suit of 

So there you are. 

Truly, quaint beyond expression. 

How do you like it, Mr. Man? 

And, how do you like it, Friend 

Futile Tinkering. 

But these examples of our prepos- 
terous "economics" are obvious and 
commonplace. I should not waste my 
time and your patience just to speak 
of such trite matters; or to add an- 
other "practical" suggestion for "bet- 
tering" them to the futile scrap-heap 
of "practical" palliatives. 

He would, indeed, be a fool- 
mechanic who would waste time and 
material tinkering with details of a 
mechanism after having on careful ex- 
amination decided the device to be 
wrong in basic principle. 

Why waste futile anger and energy 
on Financiers and Profiteers when 
they are perfectly "natural" elements 
in our "economic system," as our na- 
tional social aggregation has devel- 
oped from its ages-old "natural" her- 

I would not, if I could, stop Prof- 
iteers from profiteering, nor Finan- 
ciers from financiering, nor punish any 
one for playing our fool-game accord- 
ing to its crazy rules — better than the 
rest of us. 

Effective Reconstruction. 

What I am driving at is a working 
method, for a workable understanding 
of the "Social Problem," and a work- 
able Social Reconstruction. 

However difficult in application it 
may appear to the unthinking, or how- 
ever undesirable to the self-interested, 
the method I propose has the ef- 
fectiveness and simplicity of ration- 
ality. It has that perfect simplicity 
which lies at the heart of useful dis- 
covery and invention. 

The discernment for which I plead 
is that our society is wrong in basic 
principle, is based on anti-social prin- 
ciples. It is a left-over from our Eu- 
ropean heritage and — headed for the 
same outcome. 

Its various parts have developed in 
obedience to natural forces, are work- 
ing in obedience to natural forces, and 
the outcome will be the natural re- 
sult of the interaction of these nature- 
given materials and natural forces. 

Elements Unchangeable. 

It is childishly futile to try to tinker 
any social machine part — any social 
element — into workability, by itself. 



In the first place, these elements 
are in their essential qualities unmod- 
ifiable. Just as the mechanic's ma- 
terials are unchangeable. 

In the second place, even could they 
be singly altered, what good would 
that do? They still would remain es- 
sentially isolated elements, aggregat- 
ed in this or that connection, but un- 
combined by any unifying human de- 
sign into a humanly purposeful whole. 

Society a Machine. 

It has not been effectively recog- 
nized, despite the universal use of the 
phrase "social body," that society is 
a body — a mechanism. 

Just as a man's body is really a ma- 
chine, a heat motor, as mechanistic as 
a Tin Lizzie or a battleship; just as 
an army (in every proper sense of the 
term) is a military machine: so a 
Town, a State, or a Nation is equally 
mechanistic — a true Machine. 

Let us look for a moment at the 
effective implication and significance 
of this notion . . . 

When your body is "sick" and an- 
noying you by not obeying your will, 
it is acting in obedience to universal 
law with the same precision, regular- 
ity, and mechanistic predictableness, 
as when it was "well" and acting re- 
sponsive to your will. 

The only real difference is: in one 
case you like, and in the other you 
dislike, — the outcomes of the same 
universal law, the same mechanistic 
natural order. 

Fernwald, Berkelev, California. 
November 15, 1920. 

Just so with the social body. 

If we do not like the outcome of 
our social organization, and if we will 
use our constructive imagination to 
conceive an outcome more to our lik- 
ing and use our freedom of choice to 
choose such outcome; and if we have 
initiative to undertake, and construc- 
tive skill (and courage) to rearrange 
the nature-given elements in suitable 
relation to social forces and factors 
to produce the chosen outcome — then 
the solution of our "Social Problem" 
will be in process. 

And as I have said, "sickness" which 
in the human body brings crises, 
boding physical death, in the social 
.body brings — Revolution — portent of 
National Dissolution. 

Purposeful Social Evolution. 

It is quite useless to promulgate 
"practical" programs and platforms, 
and childishly impractical to prate 
of the common interests of (dead) 
"capital" and (living) "labor" and the 
need of bringing them together, and 
so forth, and so on and on . . . 

The only measure that will prevent 
Revolution is Purposeful Social Evo- 
lution: Social Reconstruction of such 
kind as will turn what is now a sense- 
less anti-social, internecine warring 
aggregation, into a purposeful work- 
ing combination; into a real Nation — 
a Nation unified by a common pur- 
pose — a National Objective. 





Second Series 


Labor, Skill, Tally, Organization and Their Functions: 
Production, Distribution, Direction. 

By William Henry Smyth 

Note: This the concluding part of Technocracy — Second Series gathers 
up the preceding considerations for their logical conclusions. 

The solution of the social problem is shown to lie in man's making use 
of his unique self-conscious freedom and rationality for purposefully co-ordinat- 
ing the nature-given and nature-elaborated elements of the social structure; 
which the essay describes in their essentials. In this way man makes himself 
a participator in the miracle of creation, the evolutionary process, and his 
own physical, social, and spiritual development. 

The alternative presented is, on one hand: animal instincts running their 
'"natural" course to social chaos, to revolution; on the other hand: human 
reason utilizing the instincts, for the attainment of social order, true social 

Basic Requirements. 

Feeding and Breeding are the funda- 
mentals of social life. 

Any circumstance — "natural" hap- 
pening, or artificial arrangement — ad- 
verse to these basic requirements is 
anti-social and socially disruptive. 
Conditions favorable thereto are con- 
ducive to social development. 

Inherited Animal Instincts. 

Not only are these requirements 
basic to human society, but they are 
and always were equally necessary to 
all forms of "lower" animate exist- 

Thus it is that (to ensure feeding 
and breeding), "Nature" during the 
aeons of experimentation which we 
call "Evolution" has developed a va- 
riety of fixed preservative instincts, 
traits, and characteristics in the animal 
world. From the animal world, we 
as animals have inherited such of these 
instincts, traits, and characteristics as 
were necessary or most favorable to 
Man's survival and present dominance. 

"Gifts": Peculiarly Human. 

In addition to these, man lias ac- 
quired, attained, or been endowed 
with "gifts" peculiar to himself which 
render him unique — Consciousness of 
Self, Freedom of Choice, and Purpos- 
ive Rationality. 

A Cosmic Invitation. 

By these latter acquisitions, Man 
has been placed in the peculiar situa- 
tion of being an invited participator 
in the evolutionary process, including 
also the working of this cosmic pro- 
cess as concerns himself. 

This momentous invitation he is 
free to accept or reject. 


If he accepts the invitation he as- 
sumes its inherently implied terms. 
He assumes responsibility for the out- 
come of his interference with the 
evolutionary process. He gets the 
benefits which his intelligent co-opera- 
tion may bring him, and the accom- 
plishment of his own desires, but, also, 
he must bear the pains and penalties 
of his own foolish actions. 

If he accepts the invitation to take 
a responsible part in his own evolu- 
tion, he has at his disposal all of the 
active forces of Nature including those 
which motivate himself, — his bodily 
mechanism, his instincts, his procliv- 
ities, his economic traits, his intelli- 
gence — to make or mar himself and 
his institutions. 


If he docs not accept the invitation 
to participate in the miracle of ere- 



ation and the Cosmic Enterprise, the 
Great Undertaking: goes on without a 
flicker of disturbance — indifferent to 
his existence — or what amounts to the 
.same, regardless of outcomes which 
are humanly desirable. 


All of this means that human soci- 
ety as it exists today is the end-result 
of these various factors. 

If the outcome does not please or 
suit us it is our own fault and the 
remedy lies in our own hands — with 
the proviso that we realize the terms 
of the implied contract and under- 
stand the nature of the instrumentali- 
ties at our disposal with which to 
realize our purposes. 

Conditioned on Understanding. 

In brief then, all human accom- 
plishment, all invention, all attainment 
of anything "new," are conditioned on 
an understanding of the facts and laws 
of nature involved and the choice of 
an appropriate relation to them, with 
reference to the determined purpose. 

Society is a structure based, like 
everything else in the universe, on na- 
ture-given facts and laws. 

The prerequisite then to our present 
endeavor, to map out a course of so- 
cial progress, is to have a clear under- 
standing of the facts and laws of na- 
ture involved: of which the first item 
is society's composition. 


Man is a strong, skilful, cunning an- 
imal endowed with freedom of choice. 
Some are characteristically Strong, 
some arc characteristically Skilful, 
some are characteristically Cunning. 
In others, again, these basic traits are 
merged in varying proportions. 

The Social Elements — the essential 
(or main) parts of society — then are 
the groups formed primarily by the 
working out of the instinctive proclivi- 
ties which I briefly sketched in the 
opening part of the first series of 

The Economic Traits, strength, 
skill, cunning and the instincts, to live, 
to make, to control, to take, have 
founded and formed our social struc- 
ture, in which they are still recogniz- 
able as its four great elements: Labor, 

Skill, Tally, ("Capital"), Organization 


By Labor I mean that activity 
which is chiefly muscular effort. It 
is obviously the foundation of all 
other activities whatever, and as such 
it engrosses the effort of the great 
majority — the bulk of "the people". 

Their motive urge is mainly "to 
live". They are impelled by no other 
special impetus towards any particu- 
lar form of activity. Those who do 
the bulk of the world's work there- 
fore find self-expression in the meas- 
ure in which their work conduces to 
the satisfaction of their instinct "to 

Thwart this, and Labor balks. 


Skill, expressing the instinct "to 
make", must be taken in a sense wide 
enough to embrace not only dex- 
terity, but also usable knowledge of 
matters and things conducive to phys- 
ical accomplishment. The Skill ele- 
ment of society holds the scientist as 
well as the artisan, philosophy as 
well as technology. 

The function of such a Skill ele- 
ment in a rationally, purposefully or- 
ganized society is self-evident. How 
woefully far from this it departs in 
the actually existing society is like- 
wise self-evident. 


Whenever team-work is under way 
— or for that matter team-play — there 
is need of a record of each man's 
.performance. To keep such record 
is the function of the Tally element 
in society. 

This colorless, yet all-important, 
function the cunning instinct "to 
take" early made its own. The em- 
bodiments of that urge made them- 
selves the keepers of the social tally- 
sheet — the "Financiers". 


The Organization element coordi- 
nates and supervises the work of so- 
ciety. It prescribes what should and 
what should not be done, in relation 
to the work in hand — the purpose. 

This element embraces the "author- 



ities", the "government", the "em- 

Necessity and Freedom. 

The quality uniformly exhibited by 
all four social elements is their in- 
stinctiveness. The}' have developed 
from inward necessity. 

But there is no such inner neces- 
sity for their interrelation, their co- 
ordination and combination into a 
social machine as a whole. That is 
not a matter of instinctive urge, but 
a problem of intelligence. 

The present chaotic lack of co- 
ordination is due to lack of social 
purposive intelligence; it is the "nat- 
ural result of (and has been de- 
termined by) failure (socially) to 
exercise Man's transcendent preroga- 
tive: Freedom of Choice — freedom to 
choose his relation to natural forces 
in such manner as to make them 
subserve his predetermined united 
purpose — Community objective. 

War of Instincts. 

Indeed, each element, far from 
uniting with the others in purpose, is 
"naturally" fighting every other for a 
greater gratification of its own "nat- 
ural" urge, and the all-embracing 
urge of instinctive self-preservation. 

It is in highest degree probable 
that, typically, the four instinct-char- 
acterized groups of modern society — 
the Masses, the Artisans, the Em- 
ployers, the Financiers — do not think. 
Thinking is not their social func- 
tion; they merely respond to the 
urge of their dominating instincts — 
the Masses to breed, the Artisan to 
make, the Employer to energize, the 
Financier to hoard — instincts which 
characterize separately many animals 
other than Man. 

These various social groups in- 
stinctively resist any social conditions 
or conventions that tend to hamper 
the functioning urge of their char- 
acterizing instinct and instinctively 
struggle for its greater gratification — 
hence our "Social Problems". 

What Is the Social Problem? 

The Scientists — scattered and few 
in number but socially significant — do 
think; it is their social function to 
think, to rationalize with constructive 
imagination. It is the Scientist's 

function to solve problems, to pio- 
neer, to blaze a trail into the un- 
known — to illumine the path of Social 

Clearly it is the Scientist's social 
function to straighten out social 
snarls, to unravel social tangles: 

To so organize society that human 
freedom and self-expression will be 
the product of and result from the 
rational relationing, the coordinate 
functioning and gratification of the 
human instincts. 

That is the Scientist's great task. 

That is our Social Problem. 


Socially, Man has remained a mere- 
ly instinctively acting animal. He has 
never unitedly pondered a social pur- 
pose, reflected on a freely chosen 
united objective. 

When our inspection of the Cali- 
fornia had disclosed its constituent 
elements, we knew as readily for 
what purpose they were to work to- 
gether: we knew what the battleship 
was for. 

But for what socially determined 
end do our Financiers finance, our 
inventors invent, our laborers labor? 

What is the purpose of Society? 

Is it not true that, judging from 
society as it is, we must say it has 
no purpose? 

Is it any wonder then, that we 
have a "Social Problem", and that 
most men face it in utter bewilder- 

Purpose Necessary. 

To deal effectively with the social 
problem requires then, first of all, 
that men become conscious of a so- 
cial purpose. And a very little reflec- 
tion will disclose the enormous dif- 
ference which a difference of purpose 
effects with regard to otherwise iden- 
tical processes. 

The same purposive skill that 
makes — feloniously breaks. 

Bees and Profiteers. 

Our profiteers have been filling 
their coffers just as bees are filling 
their combs. Essentially their activ- 
ities proceed from the same source: 
instinctive drive to hoard. 

Bee and profiteer are equally "sel- 



Each acts in obedience to the de- 
mand for self-expression. But win Te- 
as the utility of the profiteer's hoard 
(if it has any true utility at all) is 
for himself alone and prejudicial to 
society, the bee's honey hoard is for 
the whole hive. 

What "Nature" has contrived in 
thus shaping toward an ulterior pur- 
pose the instinctive activities of a 
lowly insect, men must accomplish 
in their social arrangements by the 
exercise of their distinctively human 
qualities: reason, freedom and purpose. 

No Use Calling Names. 

It is quite needless and useless to 
single out the profiteer for moral ob- 
jurgation; and in many, if not most 
cases it would be unjust to boot. His 
profit-gouging comes not from moral 
depravity, but from a special bent of 
mind, a particular ability: and our so- 
ciety, imprimis our quaint system of 
"finance," gives no scope to that abil- 
ity — except to gouge the public. 

Yet that ability — in its essence, 
instinctive hoarding — has a social util- 
ity of the highest order. And in an 
enlightened society, that is one pur- 
posively organized, it would not only 
find scope for its exercise for the 
public good, but be spontaneously so 
exercised, and with no less gratifica- 
tion for its possessor. 

The War Illustration. 

Of how this might be accomplished, 
the War has already given us a 
sketchy illustration. 

The men who were called to mobi- 
lize the social forces of the United 
States were commonly the very men 
whose pre-war activities had been 
more notorious for amassing huge pri- 
vate fortunes than celebrated for self- 
less public service. 

Between the high officials of the 
War Industries Board, the Shipping 
Board, and so forth, and the member- 
ship of a "Millionaires' Club" there 
was little discernible difference of per- 

Charles M. Schwab, the finance 
magnate, and Schwab, the war-organ- 
izer, were the same person. 

All these men brought to their so- 
cial, national jobs the very same tal- 
ents that they had been employing 

right along self-centeredly — unsocial- 

ly, un-nationally. The work they did, 
their proximate functioning, was the 
same as before. 

But what a difference in social re- 

They were acting for a different 
purpose. That really makes up the 
whole of the difference. 

The skill that feloniously breaks — 
can also make. 

Where these hurriedly assembled 
mobilizcrs fell short of efficacy it was 
in the measure of their failure to 
equate completely their aims with the 
National Objective. 

Greater "Temptation." 

It is worth while considering how 
it was that men pre-eminent for ca- 
pacity of self-aggrandisement, for 
their ability, to put it in plain words, 
of using the Nation for their own pri- 
vate aims and advantage, came to 
make the Nation's purpose their own. 

The outstanding fact is that they 
did it of their own free will. 

The deeper lying fact is that they 
responded to the greater inducement: 
public good was a stronger stimulus, 
a greater "temptation," than private 

The decisive fact is that such re- 
sponse was made possible and induced 
by the (even if only crude and tem- 
porary) rearrangement of the social 
elements for the attainment of a Na- 
tional Purpose. 

Add to this the perception, for 
which I have so often contended, that 
there is no blinder folly than that 
which sees in "work" nothing but "the 
primal curse"; and that, on the con- 
trary, doing — which is only another 
name for work — is the very essence 
and end of man's living, provided 
only it be the purposive work of his 
heart — and you have the whole foun- 
dation of the psychology of social re- 

Order, Purpose, Freedom. 

Freedom is the first law of Man's 

Any social convention or construc- 
tion which does violence to the free- 
dom of the individual, of the group, 



or of the Nation as a whole, is 
doomed to inevitable failure. 

If any single cause is to be given 
for the social failure which we now 
so anxiously face, this cause, which 
earlier I have formulated as the ab- 
sence of purposive design, may well 
be formulated as the infraction of the 
basic law of freedom. For in a chance- 
made agglomeration true Freedom can 
not arise and act, any more than in a 

It is only in a true Order, in a pur- 
posively designed and rationally com- 
bined society, that Freedom can find 
the conditions for its effective being, 
its self-realizing activity. 

Disorder — Jungle Law — Restraint. 

Obviously there can be no real hu- 
man freedom in a society based on 
primeval jungle law, only license and 
restraint. When it is the sole acting 
principle, (even if not the preaching 
of the pulpit) that he may take who 
has the power, and he shall keep who 
can, what can be the issue but intra- 
social warfare? — and, still more re- 
pugnant, a warfare in which victory 
is not to the strong, clean and cour- 
ageous, but to the sordid, tricky and 

Fictitious Freedom. 

Let us not be misled by surface ap- 
pearances. Ostensibly the mine owner 
has more freedom than the miner, the 
manufacturer than the mechanic, the 
merchant than the clerk. More pro- 
foundly, one is found to be as unfree 
as the other. For freedom implies do- 
ing one's reasoned will. But as mem- 
bers of a planless social monstrosity, 
no man can be a free agent. All are 
caught in the same chaotic social 
tangle; none guide their course by 
anything better than chance and their 
instinctive proclivities. 

Reason and Freedom. 
These instincts, as I have pointed 
out, are natural forces. And I have 
also shown how Man, the Mechanic, 
has achieved his conquests by bring- 
ing his Reason and Freedom of Choice 
to bear on natural forces: not in crazy 
hope of changing them, but to make 
I hem the realizing means for his rea- 
son and freedom — for his purpose. 

Even thus is the task of Man, the 
Social Mechanic. 

Our reconstructive effort must be 
so to reconstruct or rearrange the 
social mechanism as to utilize the 
unchangeable instincts, the economic 
traits (that is, the natural forces in 
our problem) for the accomplishment 
of a united social purpose, a National 

Man a Spiritual Entity. 

I have spoken so much in terms of 
mechanics that it may not be amiss 
to guard here against the imputation 
that I conceive of human life in such 
terms. My conception is indeed the 
very opposite of that. Man (though 
functioning in a mechanistic world 
through a bodily machine) is above 
all a spiritual entity; and his ma- 
terial and mechanical concerns and 
affairs are of importance only in so 
far as they affect his spiritual being. 


To avoid misunderstanding, it should 
be borne in mind that "Society" as 
used herein means the total of all 
those constituting the Nation — "tinker. 
tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor 
man, beggarman, thief", et al. ; but 
that Social Functioning includes only 
a limited part of their life in its 

Social functioning is the service part 
of modern collective (gregarious) life 
— for material well-being. Its relation 
to national life is analogous to that 
which the kitchen and service part in 
a well ordered household bears to the 
life of the family. 

And, national economics is merely 
household economics expanded. 

"Society" a Machine. 

This is not the place for expound- 
ing at length my social philosophy. 
But it will suffice, as a guiding thread, 
to indicate that my conception of 
Society is the corollary of my concep- 
tion of Man. 

That is, I view society as a mechan- 
ical contrivance for the satisfaction 
of man's material needs; for the ul- 
terior object of freeing his spiritual 
self. What ministers directly to his 
spiritual wants and his spiritual life 
itself, lies as clearly outside of the 



social organization, as outside- the ma- 

It is in this sense also that I hold 
that man does not exist for society 
(as certain ardent social reformers 
would have us imagine), but society 
for man. 

Within this frame, society resolves 
itself, structurally and functionally, 
into Production, Distribution, and 


Under the term Production or Pro- 
ductive Group is implied that part of 
the community which skillfully deals 
with nature's forces and materials; 
which familiarizes itself with all mat- 
ters relating to the physical environ- 
ment of the human aggregation. Its 
function is to extract, produce and 
arrange all things and physical con- 
ditions desirable and necessary to the 
well-being of the organization. 


Its membership is characterized by 
skill and strength, by curiosity ration- 
alized into desire to know, and by 
a beaver-like urge — the instinct to 

This group is not the representative 
of the community, nor is its function 
that of guardian, custodian, organizer, 
supervisor, or unifier of the composite 
group, nor has it rightly any of these 
functions. This Productive Group is 
the transforming element of tJie Social 


The Labor Element we find in prac- 
tice also assumes the functions of the 
Directive and Distributive Groups in 
many ways and details. And attempt- 
ing to perform these functions so for- 
eign to its character, specialized apti- 
tude, and economic trait, it does much 
harm and adds misdirected energy to 
existing confusion. 

Taking into consideration, however, 
the history of this group — its age-long 
grinding between the upper and nether 
millstones of Cunning-Strong and 
Tricksy-Cunning — the wonder is, not 
that the results are as thev are, but 
rather that this group still persists 
in its efforts to perform any of its 
rightful functions, and that it has not 

long ago by the misdirection of its 
energy wrecked the whole structure; 
as it has often, seemingly, been on the 
ragged edge of doing. Were it not for 
its ineradicable instinctive urge, this 
doubtless would have been the result. 
It is not without significance that 
the Distributive Group is satisfied 
with present conventions and desper- 
ately fears change, while the Product- 
ive Group is fiercely dissatisfied, and 
welcomes any change. 


"Production" has been of late very 
much to the fore in the public prints. 
The whole civilized world, our own 
country included, we are told, is not 
producing enough. Production, we arc 
told, must be increased by greater in- 
dustry and "efficiency." 

As an inventor, that is one engaged 
in devising ways and means for do- 
ing something in a new and better 
way, I may be credited with having 
a sufficiently high regard for effi- 
ciency. Yet I own that, as currently 
conceived and employed, "efficiency" 
is my pet aversion. Nothing provokes 
me to more laughter or anger. 

A notion of efficiency that focuses 
on the product, instead of the pro- 
ducer, misses the point completely. 
Such "efficiency" is really (humanly 
and socially) inefficiency. 

Therefore, when I outline the task 
of social reconstruction as an appro- 
priate organization of production, dis- 
tribution, and direction, there are to 
be constantly held in mind and applied 
the ultimate criteria: a free unfolding 
of the spirit, a free manhood, a free 


Under the term Distribution or Dis- 
tributive Group are implied those indi- 
viduals whose function in the social 
organization is to keep tally and effect 
the distribution of products and 
wealth equitably and impartially to 
all the individuals of all the groups 
in accordance with their effectiveness 
and the best interests of the commun- 
ity at large. 

A truly magnificent function! 


The "Capitalist Element" in prac- 
tice, as the "Money Power" or "the 



Interests", interferes most energetic- 
ally and unjustifiably in matters 
wholly outside its sphere. 

It has, in fact, assumed, through its 
taxing power, the functions of "Gov- 
ernment" and control over the life and 
activities of every individual in the 
community. It has missed its way and 
is more distorted (if such be possible) 
than either of the other groups. To it 
is attributable in greater measure the 
social disturbance and confusion at 
present existing. 

This group is characterized by an 
economic trait due to its (Tricksy- 
Cunning) origin — its members have 
an inherent parasitic tendency and a 
bee-like hoarding urge — the instinct 
to take. 


This group is not the community's 
representative any more than is the 
Productive group; it is not the guard- 
ian or unifier; nor has it any of the 
functions of government, though it 
has assumed many of them. Neither 
does it deal with nature's forces or 
materials; it has no concern with phy- 
sical environment or natural re- 
sources; it does not extract or pro- 
duce things from nature's stores; it 
does not make, produce, or create 
wealth; its functions are neither gov- 
ernmental nor productive in any sense. 

It is simply the bookkeeper, the 
clerk, of the community — the record- 
ing or tabulating element of the so- 
cial machine. 


And yet it has arranged conventions 
of distribution for its own exclusive 

It has appointed itself an unofficial 
and irresponsible custodian of the 
community's wealth in process of dis- 
tribution. Out of the community's 
wealth flowing through its channels, 
it pays itself such wages as it deems 
its due for performing these services 
and functions. In addition to this, it 
retains possessio'n of various forms of 
conventional increment accruing to 
the flowing wealth during the distrib- 
utive process. These increments are 
deemed, by tacit acceptance of con- 
ventions made by the Distributive 
Group, to be its property. So this ac- 

quisitive group acts as distributive 
agent for producer and the commun- 
ity, and custodian of the products, 
while at the same time it is active as 
an untrammeled trader on its own 
behalf in and with the community's 


By the terms Direction or Directive 
Group is implied that part of the na- 
tion which neither produces nor dis- 
tributes, but represents the whole 
composite group, the community. 

It is that part which, as representa- 
tive, is guardian, supervisor, and uni- 
fier. Its function is to facilitate the 
correct working of all the ramifying 
parts of the other elements, so as to 
bring about harmonious co-action of 
the entire social organization. It is 
the "governor" or strain and speed 
equalizer of the social machine. 


The "Government", in practice, ex- 
ercises all these social functions in- 
extricably tangled up with the pro- 
ductive and distributive elements in 
most of their details. 

Government makes, manufactures, 
and exploits; it keeps tally of pro- 
ducts and distributes them more or 
less ineffectively; and while remain- 
ing Government in name, it per- 
forms all these other functions to 
such an extent that it is difficult 
to determine which most definitely 
characterizes it in reality. 

This confusion of function seems 
to be the logical outcome of the 
(Cunning-Strong) genesis of the 
group, with its inherent lust for 
power and dominion — the instinct 
to control. 

Social Mechanic's Task. 

What then is the task of Man, the 
Social Mechanic? 

Primarily, it is to extricate the ba- 
sic three-fold elements of the social 
mechanism from the present confu- 
sion and distortion; and, in the light 
of and under the guidance of Science, 
so to organize these fundamental 
functions: Production, Distribution, 
and Direction, that they will serve 
the social purpose, the national ob- 



What the Trouble Is. 

As it stands now, the Social Ma- 
chine is a product of nature-made 
conditions, and not a construction of 
self-conscious human intelligence di- 
rected to the accomplishment of a 
predetermined human purpose. 

Man has never attempted to organ- 
ize his Social Machinery to accom- 
plish a socially unified object. And 
Nature docs not stop, simply because 
man acts like a fool. Nature truly 
abhors a vacuum — especially a va- 
cuity of intelligence. 

Man has tinkered with many social 
details — he has never tackled the So- 
cial Problem! 

That is the whole trouble with the 
Social Machine. 

Social Problem 

The situation is not unlike that of 
a machine-shop in which a lot of 
mentally deranged mechanics would 
find themselves while gradually and 
unequally convalescing toward ra- 

They find the engine and machin- 
ery (Nature) all running smoothly, 
but also they find themselves (with 
more or less bewilderment) indi- 
vidually and in bunches, marvelously 
and solemnly busy doing, with great 
skill, all manner of grotesque stunts: 
stoking the furnaces with their wom- 
en and children, feeding their young 
men to the ponderous grinding and 
crushing machines; tirelessly dump- 
ing the most valued and useful prod- 
ucts of their bodies, brains, and 
skill, to the smashing "dead-falls" 
and scrapping "go-devils", to be 
crushed to human slimes and refuse; 
and in a multitude of other ways in- 
geniously employing their (Nature- 
made) facilities and capabilities to 
produce all kinds of silly outcomes — 
unlikable to their awakening intelli- 

The condition thus disclosed they 
call their "Social Problem". 

Man Is Free. 

Man has a living Godlike soul 
which is free. As a "person" — a spir- 
itual entity — a Man is not a machine, 
is not subject to control by any 
power in the Universe except him- 
self, and except in so far as — by an 

exercise of his freedom — he volun- 
tarily submits. 

In so far as he does submit to 
force or irrational control, he be- 
comes a mere product — a machine; 
he contracts his own soul and di- 
minishes that transcendent quality of 
Godship which makes him a Man — 
his Freedom. 

A Purposive Social Machine. 

I firmly believe that Man is, and 
the Universe is, so constituted that 
Human Intelligence can construct a 
Rational Social Machine; that if Man 
earnestly desires and has the cour- 
age seriously to undertake the task, 
he can make an infinitely more 
smooth-running, humanly efficient, and 
humanly purposive arrangement than 
the humanly objectless, inhumanly 
cruel, and incredibly wasteful Stone 
Age animalistic abortion to which he 
now submits — that Man can make a 
Social Machine worthy of Man, the 
World Mechanic. 

Human Intelligence or Animal 

"Nature", while on one hand seem- 
ingly reckless of "waste", is on the 
other obviously economical — struct- 
ures, functions, and "gifts" not used, 
atrophy and disappear. 

If then Man, in social relation, fails 
to use his "gifts", these will atrophy 
■ — be recalled. And Man's social devel- 
opment will run not in accord with his 
intelligence, but in accord with his 
animal instincts, dominated by the 
most basic of all, the anti-social (in- 
dividual) self-preservation instinct — ■ 
dog-eat-dog — jungle law. 

Science a Fulcrum. 

It may seem that I have made of 
the existing social disorder an ar- 
raignment of Man's competence. I 
have charged him with folly, with fail- 
ure to use his greatest gifts: reason 
and freedom. 

Perhaps he can bring forward exten- 
uations. Perhaps the time had not 
come — till now. 

Perhaps there has been neither lack 
of human intelligence nor lack of wil- 
lingness to use it. Perhaps he really 
could not use it, did not know how 



For one thing he lacked, which has 
come only in our own day: Experi- 
mental Science. 

Science is a firm fulcrum for the 
lever of thought. 

It is a fulcrum securely resting upon 
the eternal facts and laws of nature. 

It is a fulcrum that rests upon 
phenomenal truth, which rests upon 
Nature's immanent Essential Truth 
that makes for universal right-eous- 
ness — mechanistic validity, personal 
worth, social right. 


The philosophers and thinkers of 
the past lacked that fulcrum. At the 
best, they could be only good guess- 
ers. There is no lack of intelligence 
or high spirituality in Plato's "Re- 
public", in More's "L T topia", and in 
their many followers. 

But they all lacked, and all they 

Fernwald, Berkeley, California. 
November 21, 1920. 

lacked was, the firm fulcrum of 

This we now possess. 

Now only has Technocracy become 
a realizable ideal. 

This transcendent acquisition and 
necessary instrumentality — Science — 
is now ours to freely use or freely 
abuse — abuse to our irrecoverable 
hurt or utilize for our ever increasing 
and true prosperity. 

This is our signal acquisition as 
compared with the past, our signifi- 
cant point of progress. And by its aid 
(if we choose) we (socially still in 
the pre-scientific period) may at last 
achieve also social progress. 

And thus, by the means of nation- 
ally organized Science, we may be- 
come the first real nation, a truly 
united people with a worth-while na- 
tional objective — a true Industrial 
Democracy — an intelligentlv purpose- 


Reprinted from the Gazette, Berkeley, California 
Copyright, 1921, by W. H. Smyth. 


Third Series 


Animal-man and Man-animal: 

A Working Understanding of Man the Social Unit. 

By William Henry Smyth 


It is very important in these days of confusion that those who are 
trying to make this a better and more liveable world, should understand 
one another in every way possible. For this reason it gives me pleasure 
to say that, having read Part I of my neighbor Mr. Smyth's Tech- 
nocracy (Third Series), I find myself in hearty accord with it in the 
main; especially in the central place which he gives to Personality and 
Freedom. This evaluation of Personality opens a way to a moral and 
spiritual, as well as social and industrial advance. 

With the severity of Mr. Smyth's indictment of early man and of 
modern society I cannot agree; but his forward look and many of his 
ideas are vigorous and suggestive. 
June 17, 1921. JOHN WRIGHT BUCKHAM. 

(John Wright Buckham, D. D., is the distinguished scholar who holds 
the chair of Christian Theology in the Pacific School of Religion. He 
is the author of "Personality and the Christian Ideal," "Progressive Re- 
ligious Thojught in America," "Mysticism and Modern Life," etc.) 

NOTE: The First and Second Series of these Technocracy essays 
were devoted almost exclusively to social Mechanics; in the present series 
the emphasis is upon the still more important element in our Social 
Problem — the social mechanic himself — Man. 

This Third Technocracy Series aims at a "working understanding" 
of man, that supreme paradox — a free spirit expressing itself individually 
and socially through a physical body. It aims at such understanding 
of man, lacking which, an understanding of "society" cannot be had, 
and without which a solution of our Social Problem is an obvious impos- 

Part I: Deals with the spirit of man — his unconditioned self — per- 
sonality; Human relationship to a universe at once creative and conditioned 
by its own laws; and shows how by knowledge of and purposive action 
toward those laws, the human being gains freedom and action worthy of 
his free essence. Thus man can "humanize" man's own animal nature, 
and produce the social instrumentalities appropriate to "human" self- 

Personality. wise hamper its self-expression, but 

The human personality we know eacri would still remain gloriously 

as Christ, or as Socrates, or as human, ^and act in accord with his 

Shakespeare, or as Newton, impris- "human" character, 

oned (as was, indeed, almost the case These extreme examples serve to 

of the philosopher) in the body of illustrate a general proposition ap- 

a gorilla, would not be essentially plying to all men. 

changed thereby. The inappropriate It is that intangible elemental 

embodiment might, it is true, some- something (defying analysis), spirit, 



soul, personality — call it what you 
will — that transforms the animal-man 
into the man-animal — into a human 

Personality a Basic Fact. 

As to this there can be no argu- 
ment. It is cither obvious, self-evi- 
dent, or all discussion regarding hu- 
manity — individually or collectively — 
here stops. 

Such as cannot accept this basic 
proposition will merely waste their 
time to travel with me further on 
the tour of investigation I contem- 

To those, however, who, like my- 
self, deem it axiomatic, it should be 
of surpassing interest to join in an 
earnest effort to investigate how the 
wondrous combination of free spirit 
and physical machine — personality 
and animal body— coact and function 
together in the practical affairs of 
social life. 

It Is! 

It is not of pertinent interest here 
to inquire how or by what omni- 
potent process of invention or by 
what miracle of Cosmic Self-expres- 
sion this unique combination came 
to be. 

It is! 

That fact is our starting point. 

Starting with this it will be the 
aim of this essay to get such Avork- 
ing understanding of Man, as dis- 
played in his social activity, as will 
aid in solving some of the difficul- 
ties (flowing from this fact) which 
confront us in our troublous "Social 

Man an Animal — Plus. 

Man, then, in one respect is truly 
an animal, linked to his animal an- 
cestors by his physical structure and 
his animal instincts. Thus, like other 
animals, he is subject to all natural 
laws which undeviatingly govern ani- 
mate nature — heat scorches, cold 
chills, falling rocks crush, torrents 
whelm, starvation weakens, sex de- 
sires and other passions drive furi- 

What makes Man more and other 
than an animal is his self-conscious- 
ness, his reason, his constructive 

imagination, his freedom of choice; 
in a word, his Spirit — not possessed 
either by his brute ancestors or by 
his present day animal fellows. 

Human in Humanity. 

Accepting these propositions (not 
as verbal or academic admissions 
but — ) as valid in practical effect, it 
at once ceases to be matter for won- 
der that sometimes Man acts like 
an animal, at others with God-like 
purpose; and — inhumanity in man be- 
comes merely the failure of' the hu- 
man in humanity. 

Further, it is obvious that man's 
acquisition of human qualities does 
not change the facts of heat, cold, 
torrents, etc. — nature — but does pro- 
foundly change man's effective re- 


Self-consciousness enabled Man to 
perceive himself as something other 
and apart from the rest of nature both 
organic and inorganic, including his 
animal fellows and his fellow men. He 
became to himself an individual, an 
entity in whom he has overwhelming 
personal interest. He knows himself 
as a source of pains and pleasures dis- 
tinctly his own; an entity whose ani- 
mate and inanimate friends and ene- 
mies are matters personaT to himself — 
his friends to be favored by him, his 
enemies to be — by him — fought and 


His dawning reason, supplementing 
instinct , taught him that the shade of 
a tree or of a rock mitigates the 
scorching heat of the sun and the 
piercing cold of the blizzard; that by 
suitably locating his distance from a 
devouring blaze he changes its pain- 
ful effects into pleasant sensations; 
that the torrent that could sweep him 
to destruction may also transport him 
without effort, in a desired direction. 
These and many other useful lessons 
his reason sums up in the dimly per- 
ceived but profoundly true generaliza- 
tion, that: 

Animate and inanimate surround- 
ings ("environment") are friendly or 
otherwise to Man depending on how 
he acts toward them. (Religion and 
Science — the two most energizing pro- 



ducts of organized human thought — 
flow directly and derive their energy 
from this simple notion). 


Then comes his constructive imagi- 
nation, mentally reconstructing earlier 
pleasures and pains, and urging him 
to renew in physical realization the 
pictured joys of the past and prevent 
the recurrence of remembered mis- 


Last, and most important, freedom 
of choice, guided by experience, rea- 
son, and imagination, permits him to 
select which rock, which torrent, 
which thing, which act (out of the 
many and varieties of each presented 
for choice) as best serving the prob- 
able accomplishment of his desires, 
and which to reject to avoid mishaps. 

So starts humanity's upward course. 

In breathing into animal-man His 
spirit, verily! "God blessed them, (and 
truly!) God said unto them: Be fruit- 
ful and multiply, and replenish the 
earth and subdue it." 


The brute's acquisition of "human" 
qualities did not and does not change 
the facts of nature nor the effects of 
its laws. It is equally clear that it 
did and does profoundly modify man's 
possible and probable response to 
these and hence their effect upon him. 

Heat, cold, rock, torrent, animal in- 
stincts, "passions" arc still as potential 
of destruction as ever, but not to man 
— if he so chooses. 

All nature and its urges, all its 
forces and its laws have become po- 
tentially his friends, if he so chooses 
and — his choice is constructively and 
rationally purposive. 

A Social Principle. 

Clearly then (let me nail it here, in 
passing): It is a first principle of so- 
cial design to so arrange and order 
the social structure that the animal 
instincts may not run counter to and 
shall act in unison with collective "hu- 
man" purposes. And therefore it be- 
comes a principle of social construc- 
tion to provide avenues of utilization 
for these indestructible natural forces, 
in substantially the same manner and 

method by which the mechanic m> suc- 
cessfully deals with like problems of 
seemingly conflicting and indestruct- 
ible forces in machine design. 


Before there can be a group there 
must, of course, be units to form it; 
so there must be individuals before 
there can be society. The character 
and possibilities of a society must 
necessarily rest upon the nature and 
capabilities of its component individ- 

Alan, as we arc agreed, is a free 
spirit, acting, functioning or express- 
ing itself through the medium of an 
animal body that is an animate physi- 
cal machine. 

In using the word "free" there is 
implied activity, and not merely cha- 
otic motion, but choiceful, purposeful 
action: preference to go in this direc- 
tion rather than that, to do some par- 
ticular thing rather than some other. 

An Infernal World. 

This free choosing man, however, 
has become conscious of himself ; con- 
scious that he is; conscious not only 
that he is, but (to some "more or less 
satisfactory extent) where he is at, 
what he is up against. He has become 
conscious to the extent at least that 
he is in a surrounding world of physi- 
cal things and forces, a world that 
jogs along in most unpleasant disre- 
garded indifference to his wishes, if 
indeed not diabolically adverse from 
them. Naively, this to him is an in- 
fernal world of storms and floods, 
scorching heats and freezing colds, 
rocks and sharp things which pain- 
fully bark his shins and tear his flesh, 
and of a myriad beasts, demons, and 
bugaboos that will surely make an end 
of him — if he don't look out! 

Even his own particular body, that 
is his own inseparable property, has 
tricks and manners of its own which 
cause him no end of discomfort and 
much annoyance; it experiences freez- 
ing chills, torrid fevers, furious pas- 
sions, exhausting fatigue, recurrently 
ravenous hunger; its joints stiffen, its 
parts break, its sense organs get agley 
in a multitude of disconcerting ways; 
and all these haps happen quite re- 
gardless of his wants and wishes; and 



surely will make an end of him — if he 
don't look out! 

Circumventing Its Devils. 

Having, however, an overwhelming 
interest in and regard for himself, 
man calls on his reason — poor and 
imperfect though it be — to aid him 
in avoiding these various mishaps 
and circumventing the malignity of 
their diabolical instigators. 

Unfriendly haps and malignant 
traps are so incessant that poor 
reason has a mighty busy time of it 
and is kept everlastingly on the job, 
alert and at work, and with no union 
or umpire to call time. 


So by constant exercise, and a 
growing stock of remembered and 
available experiences of past suc- 
cesses, hard-worked reason grad- 
ually develops and gets more and 
miore effective to meet emergencies. 
Partial successes in the past are im- 
proved upon in the present; previous 
seemingly successful circumventings 
which subsequent experience proves 
to have brought worse consequences 
than those intended to be avoided, 
are next time handled with more 

Thus slowly is evolved the notion 
that not alone is the present diffi- 
culty to be met, but the possible or 
probable effect of the remedy is to 
be taken into consideration, as an 
essential element of every remedial 

Now vs. Later. 

So reason makes possible the 
weighing and measuring of wants 
and wishes: makes possible the ra- 
tional comparison of later comfort 
against present gratification; makes 
possible to put into the scales of 
experience the fvrn of gorging now, 
regardless of starvation later, to be 
weighed against less joyous present 
moderation, regardful of freedom 
from later total abstinence. 

Mr. W. Man— A Parable 
Mr. Wise Man, very hungry, very 
tired, and miles from home and din- 
ner; luscious looking, good smelling, 
dainty tasting "mushrooms" 

Beast Hunger growls and whines 
pitifully protesting . . . 

Reason whispers: "Caution!" 

Appetite urges in loud and imperi- 
ous tones: "Eat! eat! satisfy the 
beast lest worse happen!" 

Reason whispers: "Caution!" 

And all alert, on the job, nudges 
Imagination, to (pictorially) twist 
Man's in'ards into hard and painful 
knots, vividly re-presenting those 
physical and almost disastrous ex- 
periences of last summer. 

"Look!" says Reason . . . "and 
— squirm! It's safer to squirm now 
at imaginary kinks than later at 
real knots in your little insides." 

"Remember," says Reason, "and 
consider, if you want to continue 
your mundane existence and really 
value those plans you seemed to 
have so much at heart — those seduc- 
tive fungi may not be mushrooms — 

"Look! — consider the pictures, and 
squirm some more!" 

"Then, forget your fatigue, disre- 
gard your hunger, take up a couple of 
holes in your belt, and strike for 

"Get busy! — March!" 

So Mr. W. Man — listening to the 
voice of reason — gets home, still very 
hungry, still very tired, enjoys his 
dinner, realizes his plans, and his 
days are long in the land. 


Thus reason substitutes rational 
desire and higher aspirations for 
"natural" instincts and "lower" ap- 
petite. Sets up mediate and dis- 
tant ends, as against immediate 
gratification: the ultimate (and last- 
ing) against the immediate (tem- 
porary and lesser) good. 

"Good" clearly implies preference; 
a "good" direction is that in which 
one would go; a "good" object, the 
thing one would possess; a "good" 
action, that which one would willing- 
ly do; freedom in esse — effective 

To Cunning Strong "good" means 
unlimited control; to Skilful Strong, 
"good" means unlimited opportunity 
for the fruitful exercise of construc- 
tive skill; to Tricksy Cunning "good" 
means unlimited scope for acquisi- 



tion; to Simple Strong "good" means 
opportunity to live unhampered his 
simple life. 

Thus, to the Strong, or the Skilful, 
or the Cunning, or the Simple, 
"good" means the realization of his 
characterizing wants and wishes. To 
each and all, however, (regardless ot 
nature-determined instincts, appe- 
tites, urges, or economic traits,) 
"good" means to "make good." 

It means self-initiated develop- 
ment to the nth degree. 

"Good" means realized "personal" 

"There Are Others." 

Self-conspiousness it is which 
makes possible that momentous 
question: what will it profit me? 
Wherein is it to my "good"? 

But the stupendous fact of self- 
consciousness brings with it another 
rivalling it in importance. 

As, humanly speaking, there could 
be no "In" lacking an "Out," no 
"Top" lacking a "Bottom," no "East" 
lacking a "West": so there could be 
no recognition of "Self" lacking rec- 
ognition of "Other-selves", no "Self- 
consciousness" lacking its twin, 

The Me and The Many. 

This recognition, then, that "there 
are others," coupled with that basic 
human discovery: animate and inani- 
mate surroundings (environment) 
are friendly or otherwise to "me" 
depending on how I act toward 
"them," necessarily brings about the 
question: what must I do to profit 
others? — and culminates in the higher 
and more complex self-consciousness 
in which the "me" is not only con- 
scious of, but rationally reciprocal 
with, the many. 

Hence comes the "family," the 
group, society — the Nation. 

A Rocky Road. 

But it is a long, long way from 
these basic notions of individual 
character to their functioning smooth- 
ly in a rationally organized society. 
And truly! unfriendly haps and 
malignant traps are so fearsomely 
numerous, and confusingly incessant, 
that poor undeveloped human reason 

has a mighty busy time of it dodging 
social disaster by the way. For the 
social journey is not alone through 
an unmapped country fertile of se- 
ductive poisonous fungi; it is also be- 
set with all manner of pitfalls, treach- 
erous morasses of ignorance, rock 
barriers of established custom, raging 
torrents of ancient superstition, ma- 
lignant difficulties (many real, more 
imaginary), all kinds and descriptions 
of irrationalities., bestial instincts, de- 
mon appetites, and goggle-eyed bol- 
sheviki bugaboos, that surely will 
make and end of us — if we don't 
look out! 

Working Understanding. 

In general terms our "working un- 
derstanding" amounts to this: 

Alan is a free spirit, and as such is 
outside and beyond the laws which 
govern the physical universe. His 
thoughts (personal and spiritual life) 
are his own and have only self-im- 
posed boundaries. 

Man is an animal — an animate 
mechanism — and as such he is subject 
to and conditioned by all the laws of 
nature, mechanistic and animalistic. 

Man is a combination of spirit and 
animal and as such (potentially) en- 
joys practically limitless though con- 
ditioned freedom. There is (substan- 
tially) no limit to his thoughts, and 
the limits to his acts are (potentially) 
the boundaries of the physical uni- 
verse. His body is subject to the 
laws of chemistry, hygiene, mechan- 
ics, etc.; and he is at liberty to ex- 
press his mental freedom physically, 
in any manner or direction, subject 
only to the laws of the physical uni- 
verse involved in his purpose. 

Alan is fundamentally a rational be- 
ing, (free to express irrationality), 
hence must express reason or act 
contrary to his essential being — and 
suffer the consequences. 

Alan is hot only an individual en- 
tity, he is fundamentally a social be- 
ing; hence he must not only express 
rational individuality, but also ra- 
tional mutuality, in order to act in 
accordance with his essential being. 

Alan, the social being, contacts with 
other social beings only in the world 
of things and acts, hence must act, 



man toward man, and man toward 
environment, and so arrange man- 
made environment — society — that 
neither individual nor collective ac- 
tivity contravene nature's physical 
laws or human nature — or suffer nat- 
ural consequences. 


The consequences — "punishment" — 
following individual irrationality are 
sickness, accident, failure to accom- 
plish, and all the myriad of obvious 
(and obscure) futilities. 

The consequences — "punishment" — 
following social irrationality are sim- 
ilar to those of the individual multi- 
plied, together with characteristically 
collective futilities — debt, H. C. L. 
financial slavery, discontent, high 
death-rate, war, — our "Social Prob- 

Still, this more or less valid and 
definite "working understanding" of 
the individual should be helpful to 
clear up some of the besetting diffi- 
culties, by enabling us to avoid blind 
paths leading nowhere; by enabling 
us to recognize social expedients 
which are unadapted to the normal 
functioning of human character, and 
by preventing futile attempts to force 
impossibilities upon human nature. 

Do and Dare. 

Courage is the virtue of virtues. 

Truly, naive man sorely needed 
courage in his life-and-death "contest 
with nature". But courage unguided 
is only sublime folly, which intelli- 
gent purpose alone can transform 
into effective rationality. 

To use his spiritual freedom, to be 
free, man must do and dare; and to 
do anything worth doing, man must 
learn and respect the mechanical uni- 
verse in which the doing must be 

A Sign Post. 

Within his own make-up man finds 
such (practically) mechanical facts: 
his instincts. 

These facts of nature cannot be 
altered by themselves. But they 
(like other, external forces — external 
to personality) may be and must be 
brought under the governance of 

knowledge in order to effect spiritual 

Man's progress in the Mechanic 
Arts has attained (relative) liberty of 
action with respect to the seemingly 
more external facts of nature. 

Thus it is a sign post of experience 
pointing the way. 

Just as the Mechanic Inventor 
chooses his goal and uses not alone 
his constructive imagination but also 
his Knowledge of the available ma- 
terials and of Nature's Laws; and thus 
(and not otherwise) attains success: 
so, the solution of our "Social Prob- 
lem" — spiritual and social purposive 
freedom — must and is to be gained 
only by combining with like insight, 
a like Knowledge (of the relevant 
Natural Laws and facts), and a like 
courageous application of this Knowl- 
edge in action. 

An End in Itself. 

Spiritual freedom in posse, lacking 
use, is only a burden — a crushing re- 

It must be in esse, ready for action 
— put into action. 

But in doing (in accord with his 
spiritual freedom) man stakes his 
whole self. That is why I call work 
of a man's own heart an end in itself 
— not a means to an end. 

It is such kind of doing in which 
the World-Force finds its complete 
human expression. 

"Do or die" is really the human 
quintessence of life. 

Do or die is self-expression raised to 
the nth degree. It is self-expression 
spiritually transfigured: he only can 
have true life who is ready to stake 
his life (and lose it) on his cause. 

Harness the Animal. 

The main task of man individually, 
and a crux of our collective task — our 
"Social Problem" — is to harness the 
animal in man. 

The task, rightly conceived, is not 
to kill, or maim, or nullify the animal 
instincts in man, nor yet to "punish" 
(by social obloquy, imprisonment, or 
the electric chair, the non-social or 
anti-social expressions of these in- 
stincts), but to harness and utilize 
these brute forces for man's higher 
spiritual purposes. 



The animal instincts must be "hu- 

The economic instincts must be so- 

England's settlement of the Aus- 
tralian penal colonies and their pres- 
ent-day outcome are conclusive evi- 
dence that "criminal" ancestry is not 
"had" ancestry. It also indicates that 
the humanization of the animal in- 
stincts is not an impossible task. 

And the socialization of the eco- 
nomic instincts should be simple by 

Team Work. 

For the correct functioning of any 
machine or, indeed, any organism 
composed of many parts, co-ordina- 
tion is indispensable. 

Co-ordination is equally indispen- 
sable in the social unit, the individual, 
and in the social whole, the nation. 

A mentally unbalanced (unco-ordi- 
nated) man — because he acts irration- 
ally and is a menace — we call insane; 
and we take measures accordingly — to 
the best of our intelligence. 

Our economically unbalanced (un- 
coordinated) society, producing and 
accumulating fabulous wealth in peace 
times which irrationally saddles on its 
masses a still greater debt, and mort- 
gaging its (more than) total wealth 
to a few citizens forever we do not 
call insane; nor (though we perceive 
the menace) do we take measures ac- 
cordingly — to the best of our intelli- 

Our economically unbalanced (un- 
co-ordinated) society which, while en- 
gaged in destroying fabulous wealth 
by war (for national self-preserva- 
tion), irrationally produces million- 
aire individuals by the thousand, we 
do not call insane; nor (though we 
perceive the menace) do we take 
measures accordingly — to the best of 
our intelligence. 

A mentally unco-ordinated man is 
foredoomed to failure, is always in 
trouble, and is a menace to himself, 
and others. 

An economically unco-ordinated so- 
ciety is foredoomed to failure, is al- 
ways in trouble, and is a menace to 
itself, and others. 

Owners of Tin Lizzies. 

Every man who possesses a Tin Liz- 
zie, or a high-priced Nickel-plated 
Elizabeth, knows what lack of me- 
chanical co-ordination means: co-or- 
dination between spark and compres- 
sion, co-ordination between intake and 
exhaust valves, co-ordination between 
air and "gas" — and he becomes pro- 
foundly interested when any of these 
co-ordinates get gley. . . . 

If all our citizen owners of Tin 
Lizzies were a hundredth part as in- 
telligently interested in the thous- 
andfold more important social disco- 
ordinations as they are in those of Tin 
Lizzie's in'ards, we should soon have 
a social machine as effective, as de- 
pendable, as smooth-running as the 
most perfect product of the mechanic 

Man's Free Spirit. 

You will recall that there is inter- 
action .reciprocity, between man and 
his environment. Environment may 
help or hinder development, be friend- 
ly or otherwise depending on how we 
act toward it. You will recall also that 
environment is (in effect) modifiable 
by our relation to it. There may be 
modifications of response in situ, by 
draining a malaria-breeding swamp; or 
through change of position, as when a 
Chicagoan removes to San Francisco 
— or better still, Berkeley — to escape 
pneumonia-breeding winters. Social 
environment, as all will agree, is even 
more largely modifiable. 

In every case the effective modifier 
is man's free spirit. 

The Pilgrims. 

It was man's free spirit which led 
the first founders of our republic to 
the New World. And is it not a 
striking coincidence that among the 
prime motives of the Pilgrims and 
other early colonists was specifically 
the quest of spiritual freedom? 

Nor is the significance diminished 
by the incident that they sought spir- 
itual freedom in a special and nar- 
rower sense: religious freedom. 

They found better than they sought. 

A Vast Free Land 

From the straight-jacket of little 
England, from a narrow land beset 



with moral and mental fences and still 
more restrictive conventions, the Pil- 
grims came into wide open spaces, 
practically boundless in extent, came 
into a vast free land. 

In the evolution of the American 
this environment — large, free, unre- 
stricted — comes in for a great part of 
the credit. Even in our own day there 
is left in America "illimitable space," 
as compared with crowded Europe. 
And this favorable environment pow- 
erfully aided and aids in the develop- 
ment of Americanism. 


There was indeed at work a select- 
ive process: emigration is likely to 
appeal only to the more venturesome, 
and those are likely to be the more 
strenuous, the "fittest." 

But even so, large credit goes to 
the environment. 

It was what America had to offer 
that attracted the bolder spirits, and 
its obvious dangers daunted the more 

And that the bolder had the imagi- 
nation to be so attracted was due to 
their possessing spiritual freedom in 
esse, so that to become and be free 
in fact was their master urge, theii 
effective purpose, their spiritual ob- 

Man and Environment. 

This to us momentous example is 
a beautiful and impressive illustration 
of the interaction and reciprocal rela- 
tion of man and environment, of the 
"miracle" of spiritual freedom in a 
mechanically conditioned universe. 

But if the early settlers of America 
(and many or even most of them that 
followed across the ocean in the re- 
volving years) were led by the spirit 
of freedom and came into a free land, 
they did not come free from dangerous 
personal belongings, "goods" and 
gods, and bugaboos — they had much 
better left behind in musty old Eu- 

Social Conventions. 

They brought with them a host of 

lYrmvald, Berkeley, California. 
.May 16, 1921. 

barbarous old social conventions and 
customs; and these, replanted in the 
virgin American soil, throve lustily, 
defacing and ravaging' the lovely free; 
land with ruthless greed, and pollut- 
ing its free air with the noisome odors, 
of chattel and financial slavery. 

And if our great and fair land may 
still claim some greatness and some 
fairness, it is due only to the fact that 
America was too much for them. 

In short, the American failed to re- 
fashion his social environment in ac- 
cordance with his changed physical 

The American. 

Yet we of the United States have 
a better chance of retrieving past 
errors — the refashioning ("reconstruc- 
tion") of our social structure — than 
have other peoples. 

We are relatively free from the re- 
straints of class, of caste, of tradition- 
alism, the dead weight of which is 
the finished product of Old World 
heritage. Then, too, the American 
has more "initiative," the result of 
pioneering conditions and the "con- 
quest" of a continent. 

The American has impressed him- 
self on his environment and recip- 
rocally he has received its American 

Due to the reciprocal interaction of 
the man and the environment there 
has resulted a greater fluidity of the 
social setting, and to the man more 
resourcefulness, hence more effective 

Thinks and — Does. 

Man, then, conditioned by the me- 
chanical laws of the universe and his 
own animal instincts, has freedom in 
choosing his 'relation and action to- 
ward these seeming limitations; and 
out of what he thinks expressed in 
what he does emerges his effective free 
spirit; emerges Cunning Strong, Skil- 
ful Strong, Tricksy Cunning, Simple 
Strong; emerges Newton, Shakes- 
peare, Socrates, Christ; emerges the 
Man — wondrou> Human Personality. 


Third Series 


Old Irascible Strong and Trixie Cunning 
Their Sons and Modern Society 

By William Henry Smyth 

NOTE: Part II takes up the instinctive side of man — his conditioned 
self, inherited from his animal ancestors, that any rational social structure 
must rest on. But the social environment is modifiable by man's will, so, 
given the will, the "socialization" of the instincts, in a manner appropriate 
to man's aspirations, may be accomplished by a suitable reconstruction 
of the social institutions. 

Irascible and Trixie. 

In the forest primeval, Irascible 
Strong, our semi-human first parent, 
promiscuously thrashed and smashed 
with his ragged tree-branch-club, joy- 
ously cracking skulls in his gory pur- 
suit of grub and — life interest; and 
Trixie, his less powerful and less fe- 
rocious, but more cunning mate (in 
her pursuit of life interest and — 
grub), jolted his sluggard wits by 
her audaciously flirtatious actions; 
swiped some of his procurements; 
and in many other feminine ways 
acted most reprehensibly. 

So it is today — merely modernized. 


Alan must eat to live, must breed, 
must protect himself and his off- 
spring against the vicissitudes of life 
and the inclemency of the weather, 
today — just as in the old days half a 
million years ago. And in all the 
the ages since, neither the circum- 
stances of life nor the primal ne- 
cessities have changed in their fun- 

Right of Might. 

The fierce and fearsome sons of 
Irascible and Trixie — Cunning Strong, 
Skilful Strong, Simple Strong, and 
Tricksy Cunning — procured their grub 
and life interest, each in his own un- 
tutored way and in accord with his 
inherited make-up — Simple Strong by 
labor; Skilful Strong by skill; Tricksy 
Cunning by stealth; and Cunning 
Strong by favor of the gods and — 
right of might. 

Everywhere and Always. 

It has always been so in the past — 
East, West, North, South, in China, 
in India, in Assyria, Egypt, Greece, 
Rome — strength, skill, cunning, con- 
tending and contributing, each after 
its kind, to make for human supre- 

So it is today — merely modernized. 

It is only the same old nobly simple 
poem of human existence done into 
modern prose in the varied life his- 
tories and (fictitiously) complicated 
social activities of the most up-to- 
date descendants of that primordial 
semi-human Cunning - Skilful - Strong 
family . . . 

"Divine Providence" and — Guns. 

Simple Strong — the Masses — labors 
simply, and propagates proliferously; 
Skilful Strong — the Arfisan — gets his 
livelihood and his joy of life by the 
exercise of his constructive skill; 
Tricksy Cunning — the Capitalist — 
gets his keenest delight (and other 
more concrete evidences of success) 
by the exercise and gratification of 
his stealthy cunning; and Cunning 
Strong — the Ruling Classes — they get 
their glory, grub and fun out of boss- 
ing the world, by favor of "Divine 
Providence" and — right of military 

Man — The Measure of Society. 

In Cave-man time the world (as he 
saw it) and cave-man society corre- 
sponded to cave-man character. 

So it is today — merely modernized. 

If man is not unqualifiedly the mea- 



sure of the universe, he surely is the 
measure of society. No society, no 
social complex, can have an excellence 
superior to that of the individuals who 
compose it — the widely accepted no- 
tion of "the' State" to the contrary 
notwithstanding. Nor can there be 
real virtue or lasting vitality in any 
society except when and in so far as 
it gives the amplest scope ("freedom 
of opportunity") to its individuals. 

To the society-builder — the social 
mechanic — the matter of foremost 
concern must therefore be man; man 
in his simple essentials — his intrinsic 
nature, his fundamental needs, his un- 
quenchable aspirations. Only as 
these are understood and properly 
taken account of, can the work of so- 
cial reconstruction prosper. 


Men's minds are free. 

M<n's thoughts in physical realiza- 
tion — action — (and hence the success 
of their life activities) are conditioned 
by "Nature." The most economically 
potent of these conditioning factors 
are their instincts. 

.Men's instincts have been devel- 
oped in the process of evolution, by in- 
heritance from man's animal ances- 
tors. Human instincts being nature's 
own handiwork — evolutionary pro- 
ducts — are part and parcel of nature; 
facts at which we may scold (if we 
must spend time foolishly), but to 
which we must bow. And it is the 
part of intelligence to make of ad- 
vantage what we must submit to of 

Don't Grouch. 

To grouch at our sixty-odd inches 
and to wish men ten feet tall, and not 
to use our two while wishing for three 
arms, would be no idler than not to 
accept and take advantage of man's 
instinctive equipment. 

We are as we are; it's the part of 
common sense to make the best of it. 

In the human evolutionary elabora- 
tion of the animal instincts, as we have 
seen, three strands developed in such 
manner as to make them of primary 
economic importance. Their arche- 
types are Skilful-Strong, Cunning- 
Strong, and Tricksy-Cunning; the 

embodiments of the instinct to make, 
the instinct to control, the instinct to 


AH three stand out sharply by con- 
trast with the economically undiffer- 
entiated (but supremely important) 
mass, whose instinctive urge I have 
characterized as simply the desire to 
live — Simple-Strong. 

From this threefold differentiation 
of human acting-trails — one might 
call them economic instincts — comes 
a corresponding three-fold articula- 
tion of the industrial community into 
Production, Distribution, and Direc- 

Order vs. Chaos. 

An orderly purposeful division be- 
tween them (as against their planless 
and confused intermingling in our ob- 
jectless social conglomeration — our al- 
leged social organization) is impera- 
tively needed. The need of clean-cut 
and purposeful division rises from the 
very nature of the industrial process, 
and without it efficient functioning is 


If anything is unquestionable in 
matters sociological, it is that we can- 
not deal with society unless we can 
deal with men; that we cannot under- 
stand society unless we understand 

But, as in the machine-shop (deal- 
ing with inanimate material), we need 
aim at no more than an effective un- 
derstanding, that is, one effective for 
the pertinent purposes — a working un- 

A Working Knowledge. 

A working understanding does not 
imply that there is needed a "com- 
plete" and "perfect" or even "scienti- 
fic" or "philosophic" understanding of 
the whole man. Such is no more 
needed than is a similar understand- 
ing required of electricity as prelimi- 
nary to its effective utilization. 

For that matter, of what have we 
knowledge— complete and perfect? 

Such knowledge has never been at- 
tained and apparently is unattainable. 

If there is any one who understands 
"electricity," or "energy," or "matter," 



or "motion," or "space," or time," he 
should enlighten the physicists, me- 
chanics, arid electro-technicians, all of 
whom aver thai they understand none 
of these marvels. Yet they use them 
in a multitude of ingenious ways and 
with almost awe-inspiring effect. 

So, in sociological matters, all we 
need is a like working knowledge of 
how man acts. 

Common Sense. 

Such knowledge is neither mysteri- 
ous nor occult, nor is it the private 
property of privileged specialists, nor 
the oeculiar province of profoundly 
learned pundits, but is open and ob- 
vious to all who will use their eyes 
and common sense. 

For this paradoxical compound of 
instinctive-animal and free-spirit — 
Man — is, socially, a Doer. Not only 
primarily, but exclusively. 

Whatever does not run into act, so- 
cially and sociologically may be disre- 
garded. What a man thinks, if it go 
not beyond thinking, is socially indif- 

Acts and Thoughts. 

What Man does is what matters. 

A man's thoughts are his own; only 
his acts concern or affect his fellows — 

Man's activities are his reactions to 
environment. A specific act will be 
the resultant of two sets of forces: 
one rising from within, the other from 
without — one from the individual, the 
other from his environment. 

Social Environment. 

The society in which a man lives 
and acts is every bit as much part of 
his environment as climate, topog- 
raphy, and so on. Whatever power 
man has gained to affect his non-so- 
cial ("natural") environment (by vir- 
tue chiefly of the labors of the scien- 
tist, the inventor, the mechanic), is 
far inferior to his power to effect 
changes in his laws and customs — -his 
social environment. 

Obviously, of those activities that 
are socially significant, the social en- 
vironment is more important than the 
non-social. Nature has made man and 
provided his natural environment, but 
man makes his own social restrictions 
and conventions. And there lies the 

more hope in recognition of man's 
ability to modify his social arrange- 
ments — man-made environment — when 
it is recognized that he cannot (on 
the points here pertinent) change 

1 have said that an act i> a com- 
pound of environmental and individ- 
ual forces. 

The individual i- essentially un- 
changeable — human society has always 
been composed of Cunning-Strongs, 
Skilful-Strongs, Simple-Strongs, and 

Social environment has changed 
kaleidoscopically, and can be changed 
at society's will or whim. 

Must Fit Human Nature. 

The remedy for conditions deemed 
undesirable lies not in attempting to 
transform, regenerate, or reform the 
individual or groups of individuals to 
suit reformers' notions, but in modi- 
fying social environment to suit na- 
ture's laws and conform to human 

This seems to me to be axiomatic. 

Tricksy Cunning. 

As long as society and social con- 
ventions are so organized that 
Tricksy Cunning can gratify the 
cravings of his nature only by batten- 
ing on his fellow-citizens, he will bat- 
ten despite all pious protests and "up- 
lift" preachments, and will evolve 
plenty of pious justification for his 
battening to boot. Yes, he will sanc- 
timoniously call High Heaven to wit- 
ness that he (like the battening Coal 
Baron who said it) is one of those 
"Good and great Christian men to 
whom God in his infinite wisdom has 
confided the property interests of the 
country"; and "a wise God" (as an- 
other Baron Battener put it) "gives 
wealth to those best able to admin- 
ister it." 

Tricksy Cunning is not to blame 
for gratifying his acquisitive propen- 
sity, in the only way we leave open 
to its gratification; but we prove our- 
selves incompetent or careless social 
designers in not arranging an avenue 
— "freedom of opportunity" — for this 
instinctive force to function in a di- 
rection beneficial to society. 



The Bed Rock. 

Since activities are reactions to sur- 
rounding conditions, and since these 
reactions are conditioned by specific 
make-up of individuals, is it not ob- 
vious that this individual nature is 
the bed-rock upon which we must 
build the social structure? 

The controlling factors are spirit- 
ual freedom, on one hand, and in- 
stinctive urges on the other. 

These seemingly opposing factors 
must be reconciled. They require 
adjustment toward each other, as the 
whole man must be adjusted to the 
whole environment — as the necessity 
of a prosperous existence. 

The instinctive complex is a pro- 
duct of evolution, and therefore prob- 
ably modifiable only by evolutionary 
process. Practically it is a fixed 
datum, a persistent motor force. 

Explosive Energy. 

Instincts are essentially appetitive. 
The}" are life energy, stresses, vital 
forces that ever strive to become kin- 
etic, to explode in action — in doing. 
They exert an imperative inward 
urge, an urge seeking expression, 
seeking gratification. When this is 
denied, they set up inward strain and 
distress, which strain and distress., 
when experienced by sufficient num- 
bers, is expressed outwardly in "so- 
cial unrest." 

Cosmic Birthright. 

Man's spiritual freedom is his cos- 
mic birthright, which he must vindi- 
cate by action before he can have the 
fuli enjoyment of it, Here, as every- 
where in our world, we have exem- 
plified the order of spiritual freedom 
reconciled with inflexible physical 

To be really free, man's dominant 
instinctive urge must be satisfied. 
Contentment is merely the psychic in- 
dex of a good adjustment. And 
good adjustment hangs on self-ex- 
pression: scope to the dominant eco- 
nomic instinct. Else contentment is 

False Doctrine of Pleasure. 

This indicates what seems to me 
the error in the seductive doctrine of 

pleasure, that theory of hedonism 
which interprets man's aspiration and 
action as a striving for "happiness." 

Nor is the case altered if some 
other term descriptive of a state of 
mind be substituted for happiness. 
It is, at best, putting a secondary ef- 
fect in the place of a primary fact, 
referring the effect of the electric 
discharge to the ineffective rumble 
of the thunder. 

Rapture of Creation. 

When man strives it is, after all, in 
obedience to an inner urge; and it is 
irrelevant whether that urge be con- 
sciously understood or not. And 
what is socially pertinent: this urge 
is not generalized and vague, directed 
at some psychic state, but specific 
and precise. It is an urge to do a 
desirable something, to accomplish 
an attractive purpose. It is an urge 
promising pleasurable satisfaction, in- 
deed, but it is the joy of "something 
accomplished, something done." Truly 
a spiritual satisfaction, a human real- 
ization of the cosmic rapture of Cre- 
ation- — self-expression. 

The Primal Curse. 

Closely connected with this is my 
inability to share the (alas, still craz- 
ily popular) view of work as "the 
primal curse" — I would almost say 
my inability fully to understand how 
that poisonous view could ever have 
gained acceptance. That it has gain- 
ed acceptance is in itself perhaps the 
most impressive testimony to how 
miserably we have failed in our so- 
cial contrivances. For such utterly 
inhuman misconception of the true 
nature of work can have arisen only 
from the abuse of work, from mis- 
work — from forced work, work not 
self-initiated, work not expressive of 
the worker, work which indeed vio- 
lates the worker's characterizing in- 

Person vs. Product. 

The foregoing offers another point 
of support for the acceptance of the 
fundamental notion which I have at- 
tempted to recommend to you, that: 

The individual is far more impor- 
tant, even economically, than his 



The chief benefit of the individual 
doing anything which is at all in the 
line of self-expression lies, not in the 
outcome, but in the doing. 

Is not this really self-evident? 

An activity performed in response 
to an inward urge brings that con- 
dition of liberation to which all or- 
ganic needs tend and in which, for 
the time being, they find their end. 
This liberation it is that makes itself 
known as primary satisfaction, and 
gives rise to the feeling of pleasure. 
The performance of work after a 
man's own heart is an end in itself, 
not merely a means to an end. What 
lies beyond, what "product" or pe- 
cuniary gain results from the effort, 
is a secondary matter. * 

False "Efficiency." 

It is the failure to realize this vital 
truth that makes modern so-called 
"efficiency" humanly inefficient, and 
a dangerous fallacy. 

This disposes of the unfounded, or 
quite wrongly founded, notion that 
without the social "incentives" — pe- 
cuniary "profit" — now in force, work- 
ing performance would be gravely 
impaired. That lacking "profit," men 
would quit work, to vacuously twid- 
dle their fingers and thumbs. Ages 
of human experience are all to the 
contrary. "The devil finds some mis- 
chief still for idle hands to do," is a 
bit of simple folk-wisdom expressing 
the fact that inactivity is a human 

Con-struction or De-struction. 

Close the avenues to con-struction 
and men will turn to de-struction. 
The urge stress must find relief, it 
will find relief either in service or in 
dis-scrvice — in work or in war. 

Where "incentive" is not merely a 
euphemism for "necessity," its modi- 
fication will not extinguish the ac- 
tivity which it is supposed to incite. 

It is quite idle to suppose that the 
abolition of social institutions facili- 
tating, say, private profiteering, to- 
gether with the incentives thereto, 
would make a man of distinguished 
organizing ability turn to bookkeep- 
ing or typing or nursing a rag-doll, 
in disgust and despair. It is much 
more reasonable to expect that he 

will strive just as lustily to "organ- 
ize" for national benefit, as he does 
now for private profit. And where 
the incentive is simply necessity (as 
it is for the great majority), is it 
rational to suppose that a willing 
worker (willing because he has the 
work he wants) will work less, or 
less efficiently, than an unwilling 

Blue Laws. 

In planning an outcome, or de- 
signing a machine, only a crazy or a 
crassly ignorant man would attempt 
to change the essential character of 
his materials, or to modify the laws 
of matter and motion. 

But this seemingly has been and 
still is the course pursued in our so- 
cial endeavors, as evidenced in some 
of our prohibitive measures, our "blue 
law" foolishness, many of our puni- 
tive and repressive statutes, and our 
glorified "Modern Art of Efficiency." 

Facts of Nature. 

The scientist and the mechanic 
know that the laws of nature are 
invariable and the qualities of mate- 
rials are fixed. However convenient, 
at any stage, it might be either to 
be able to subvert nature or endow 
his materials with qualities they do 
not naturally possess, the mechanic 
knows he has no such magic power. 
Instead, he must arrange, order, and 
often modify his plans in accord with 
the facts of nature. 

As Man Is. 

So it is and must be with the so- 
cial constructor or reconstructor (and 
this is usually overlooked by "social 
reformers"): he too must take his 
human material — with its animal in- 
stincts, its brute-man heritage, its 
economic traits — just as it is. 

Men are as they are: some are 
selfish, brutal, cruel, thoughtless, ir- 
rational; some are benevolent, kindly, 
loving, thoughtful, rational; some 
men are more or less all these quali- 
ties; some men want to make, some 
merit want to take, some men want 
to boss; and many men have no par- 
ticular hankering to make, or to take, 
or to boss, but merely want to 
rationally live their own unhampered 



lives — to live simply, to work sanely, 
and center their interest in their 
fai Lilies. 

/ Build Society to Suit. 

It is therefore an essential part of 
the "Social Problem" so to arrange 
society that all the human instincts, 
. traits, and qualities have due 
consideration and free scope to serve 
useful ends and perform their appro- 
priate functions in the economic or- 
ganization — the Nation. 

In short, we must take men as we 
find them and build our social struc- 
ture to suit them as they are, and 
build in unison with Nature's "Law 
and Order," as this is disclosed in 
our experience. And, in addition, we 
must build in accordance with our 
highest ideals of social worth and to 
rve our loftiest national pur- 

A Social Object-Lesson. 
As the mechanic inventor strives 
to organize mechanisms to realize his 
highest ideals of mechanistic effi- 
ciency, • so must we as social con- 
structors strive to organize the social 
structure to realize our highest ideals 
of human worth. 

should not expect (nor be dis- 
couraged if we fail) to build a "per- 
fect" social machine; and we. should 
expect to build and rebuild, modify- 
ing and improving as our growth in 
knowledge and our ever-increasing 
social intelligence enlarges, and puri- 
fies our National Ideals. 


Constructing tentatively is not ex- 
and peculiar to the Social 
Quiti the contrary. 
[f we lake experience for guide, the 
erse it self is d 

hed perfect work of a now 
resting Power-, but as a growing, de- 
ever expanding process of 
Creatn e Self-expression. 

l-'.vi rything suggests thai motion is 
lamental than re t- -that rest 
(non-motion) is somewise an illusion 
of thi I ; or at most a state of 
partial and temporary equilibrium: 
that the Universe is not static but 
creative, dynamic, progressive. 

And so must we be creative, dy- 
namic, progressive — or perish. 


Every human endeavor, the accom- 
plishment of every purpose — the reali- 
zation of an ideal — is a series of com- 
promises growing out of the require- 
ments of the idea and the char, 
istics of the available materials, 
through which it is physically ex- 
' ■ if such com- 

promises satisfactorily, one general 
idea or principle disclosed in the me- 
c's experience, and which has at 
been very helpful to him, here 
3 to possi icance 

to the social mechanic: 

Motion is just a.- ive to re- 

duction of pre o ad- 

dition of pressure behind. 

Carrot vs. Club. 

As in the machine shop, so also in 
social construction, the first expedient 
has the advantage of avoiding the 
compression of, and consequent gen- 
eration of heat in, t!i acted 

How obviously true is this fact, but 
how universally neglected in our deal- 
ings with hui es! 

Hope is more stimulating than 
Hope incites, fear benumb-. The car- 
rot in front of the donkey is as ener- 
gizing as the club behind — and costs 
less effort. 

Vet, how general our social recourse 
to fear, how frequent our employment 
of the club. 

Brutish Irascible's witless method — 
merely modernized. 


So long as "crime" is the direction 
I re- i -1. nice, there will be "crim- 
inals." Or, put in terms of our com- 
mercial age, as long as social "bad" 
pays, social "good" cannot thrive. 

Under present money and owner- 
ship conventions, legal possession is 
accepted as equivalent to production 
of the things "owned." Hence desire 
to possess must increase at the cx- 
pense of desire to produce — taking is 
easier than making. Thus the para- 
sitic effort to take rather than the 
productice effort to make has natural- 
ly become to many the direction of 



least r< sistance. And to 

nothing is the highest ex- 
ion of this motor idea 
mercial ideal. 

Messrs. Maker, Swiper. Stealer, and 
E. Merger. 

The huckster who si 
corn to make his brooms clearly is 
better circumstanced than 
petitor who buys his broom-con 
slow-going Mr. Swiper, who 
takes material, cannot with, 

luxuriantly as his still 

rival who stealthily ace; 1 

all ready-made and m; i And 

m — M r. Maker, 
Swiper, nor Mr. St 

chance with Mr. 
gcr, who "combines" and high-finances 
all — the "profits." 


m — prohibition 
It is sheer waste of . enei 
probably worse. 

It is crass foolishness to ti 
people "pure" and "good" by statute, 

nperate and moral by lav 

It is the substitution of sub 
— slavery — for self-control. 

ming success in this dire 
means real failure, rein on, not 

— pr< igress. 

nld prohibition law- result in 
complete "success," destroying the 
beverage use of alcohol and, with it, 
the acquired physical and spiritual re- 
sistance thereto: the second or third 
n will lack this painfully ac- 
quired spiritual strength and pro 

perience, and the result of the 
''rediscovery" of beverage alcohol up- 
on that generation will be similar or 
worse than alcohol's effect upon simi- 
larly unprotected aborigines. 
But . .! 

We can, by legal and other conven- 
tions, make morality, temperance, 
goodness, desirable; i. e., the ((social) 
direction of least resistance, for self- 
initiated effort — encourage "virtue" in- 
stead of punishing "vice" — the succu- 
lent and energizing carrot instead of 
the skull-cracking club. 

Brute-instinct yells — Kill! — Crucify! 

i in v. hi pers — Utilize. 

Social Good and Social Bad. 

Human action expresses itself in 
the direction of least resistance, in 
much the same way as "natural" en- 
Results will be desirable or 
wise, depending upon the intelli- 
, or lack of it, in selecting the 
mis of human energy suited or 
mi suited to the object sought to be 
When custom and convention make 
of social good greater than 
the rewards of social bad, the social 
criminal will become the social saint 
— malefactors of great private wealth 
become benefactors of great public 
worth. So long as convention puts 
: uium on taking and social pun- 
ishment on making — the makers will 
grow thin, the takers wax fat. 

Under these conditions, however, 
our alleged industrial democracy so- 
cial machine is headed for old man 
Revolution's repair shop, or — the 
scrap heap. 

Futile Questions. 

Discussion as to the "goodness" or 
"badness" of a system or method 
apart from the purpose to be accom- 
plished (as, for example, Capitalism 
vs. Socialism) is futile, leading only 
to confusion. 

Is individualism good? — collectivism 
bad? Is egoism bad? — altruism good? 
As well ask similar questions regard- 
ing one - many, going - coming, rigid- 
ity-flexibility, heat - cold; and all the 
thousand-and-one other reciprocal 
qualities and characteristics. All such 
terms merely indicate relation, not 
self-sufficing entities. They desig- 
nate complementaries, no one of 
which could exist or be conceived in 
the absence of the other. Besides 
this, "good" and "bad" are also mean- 
ingless in this connection, as they 
connote ethical relations in the men- 
tal realm of thoughts and ideas, not 
space and time measurements in the 
physical world of acts and things — 
social act-ivity. 

To talk about "profiteering" as 
"good" or "bad" is merely to talk 
nonsense. It is an efficient method 
of enriching the few at the expense 



of the many. Thus — as a means to 
effect the purpose of Air. Profiteer — 
it is open to no reasonable criticism. 

Social "Sin". 

Social "goodness" is accomplish- 
ment of socially desired ends. "Bad- 
ness" is failure in that regard. This 
criterion applies equally in social 
mechanics as it does in the machine 

"Sin" alike in both of these de- 
partments of human effort is neglect 
to use the befitting means or mate- 
rials. When a mechanic for selfish 
gain, from misdirected economy, or 
from ignorance employs a power- 
shaft too light for its "load, there is 
no doubt as to where blame should 

How about a businessman or bank- 
er who, for the same reasons, places 
a heavy load of responsibility on hu- 
man shoulders too light for the bur- 
den — who entrusts millions to youth- 
ful and underpaid clerks? 

Objective of the Nation. 

Thus, in the social organization, 
the human parts must be arranged, 
not alone with regard to the imme- 
diate requirements of their work, or 
the "efficient" output of products (as 
is present "efficiency" practice), but 
primarily with reference to the hu- 
man needs and the natural character- 
istic of the worker, the democratic 
ideal of the people, and the ultimate 
purpose — Objective of the Nation. 

Built That Way. 

The point here to be reinforced 
is how vitally important are these 
natural characteristics of the human 
units of the social structure, and how 
profoundly society is affected by their 
instinctive constitution. 

Introspection will confirm what I 
have argued on the ground of the 
evolutionary history of man. 

Let any one look within himself 
and examine the quality of his pref- 
erences, their motivation, and the 
line of action into which they run: 
he will most likely find something in 
the nature of a categorical imperative 
— a must. Why do 1 dislike this, 
why do T like that? The answer 
would probably be: 

Because — I am built that way. 

"Right" and "Wrong". 

But note, this inward compulsion 
is felt to be, and is, something very 
different from coercion exercised 
from without, whether the compul- 
sive force expresses nature's activity 
or the arbitrary will of others. 

The inward compulsion is not felt 
as a mere "must". The compulsive 
quality may, indeed, not be felt at 
all; it may remain unperceived until 
disclosed by inward search. 

What is always felt, hoAvever, is 
that it — is "right". 

Coercion, on the contrary, is al- 
ways felt to be "wrong". 


This inward compulsion, then, car- 
ries with it a sense of sanction. And 
it has this sanction because it is in- 
itiative — it is the expression of an 
instinctive urge. 

That is, it is self-expression. 

If one' could venture to use the 
term "right" otherwise than rela- 
tively, as an "absolute", one might 
be tempted ' to say: self-expression 
IS right. 

The Japanese Question. 

How individual instinctive bents af- 
fect social action may most readily 
be perceived in cases where the same 
instinctive reaction governs great 
numbers of men. Take, for example, 
the Japanese question which of late 
has assumed such seriousness for the 
people of the United States and par- 
ticularly for us Californians. 

In the mass of arguments advanced 
for and against Japan, one stands out 
like one of our granite buttes: 

"Race antipathy," say the pro- 

Quite true, answer we; it is race 

But what does that mean? 

Essentially it signifies simply a race 
preservation instinct: an instinctive 
objection by men of the white race 
for hybridization with an alien race. 

They want to remain white. 

Vox Populi! 

Let it be admitted that this desire 
may be injudicious. 

Let it be granted that, under a yet 
undiscovered canon of super-aesthet- 



ics, our complexions would be im- 
proved by being jaundiced, tbat blue 
eyes would be bluer gazing from 
oblique lids, tbat a shrinkage of our 
Stature would bring us closer to 

Let it be granted that the eugenics- 
to-be would demonstrate a great 
mental improvement of the American 
people resulting from their ceasing 
to be Caucasic and becoming yellow- 
white mongrels. 

All of that would avail nothing — 
avails nothing. 

The policy laid down for our deal- 
ing with Japan is ultimately dictated 
by — instinct; or, more accurately ex- 
pressed, by the frank and wise recog- 
nition of an instinct. 

"We just don't want to." 

Vox populi, vox dei. 

Fits and Mis-fits. 

Economic institutions and conven- 
tions (laws and customs) being man- 
made, may be rational or otherwise, 
may be self-initiated or imposed, may 
be native or adopted, may fit or mis- 
fit the natural characteristics of the 
individuals composing a social aggre- 
gation, may rest on autocratic or 
democratic notions, and may express 
debasing or ennobling ideals. 

Creative Consciousness. 

But every idea or ideal, whether its 
rays point up or down, has its in- 
itiating flame in an individual creative 

And, it is ideals — realized — that 
make the social world move; valid 
ideals for progress, false ideals for 
retrogression or profitless milling 
around in a vicious circle. 

So it is almost a truism to say 

All social and economic ideals are 
futile and dangerous that violate na- 
ture or invade the sanctuary and 
sanctity of the individual. 

Man Is a Compound. 

Before closing, and at the risk of 
repetition, I want to hammer home 
this and one or two other ideas 
which seem to me to be of controlling 

The individual man is a compound 
of creative spirit and nature-evolved 

The first is elemental — free. 

The second is a product — governed 
by physical laws. 

All human beings are alike in free- 
dom of spirit — to the extent that they 
realize their freedom. But they dif- 
fer without limit in their individuality, 
that is, in their proportional admix- 
tures of inherited instinctive traits, 
urge-force, and general make-up. 

Hence nations differ in their effec- 
tive capability to realize their social 
ideals — to utilize their nature-provided 
opportunity for national self-realiza- 
tion, through rationally appropriate 
economic institutions. 

The American Nation. 

While the spirit of man is free to 
choose well or ill, it is economic in- 
stincts which determine economic 
possibilities. And society is no more 
than the aggregate of the individuals 
that compose it. The American Na- 
tion is nothing more or less than a 
hundred-and-odd million (potentially 
free but self-bound) American Sim- 
ple-Strongs, Skilful-Strongs, Cunning- 
Strongs and Tricksy-Cunnings — and 
our national character is the sum 
total of our inherent and our in- 
herited characteristics. 

Our Unprecedented Responsibility. 

We occupy a wonderful continent 
and we have an unparalleled oppor- 
tunity: thus we face an unprecedented 
responsibility to prove our worthiness 
of this great trust — to prove that our 
spiritual worth is at least commen- 
surate with our physical wealth. 

Fernwald, Berkeley, California. 
May 25, 1921. 


Third Series 


Parasitism and Personality: 

Conflicting Drifts in the Evolution of Society. 

By William Henry Smyth 

NOTE: Part III exhibits the twofold nature of man in its interaction 
in our present "society," as yet unorganized for the mutual adjustment of ani- 
mal instinct and social reason. It is shown how at present the evolutionary 
urge to self-support is opposed by the evolutionary counterdrift, parasitism: 
how this drift (facilitated by the belief in magic) supports the existing 
system of finance, itself the quintessence of parasitism: how this must lead 
ultimately to ruin, of parasite as well as host. 

Old Order and New Order. 

cious, blood- 

ty, two-fisted killer, with Trixie, 

cunning- two-handed 

male: her reached the pinnacle 

of ai ' lent, the limit, the 


i — the climax, 
resull there i ntered an 
ling" transforming 
the climax into a I 

not only a new direc- 
tion, but a order of dev< lo] 

The old order, still existing and 

functioning in the animal world, was 

ii ted to producing new animal 

species, thus is characterized by limi- 


The new order, of which Alan is the 

m, is characterized, as 

. by fr< edom. 

Self-support vs. Parasitism. 

For survival in the animal world 
1 I : . ■ directions 

ir1 have been available and have, 
pectn I . I folli :d by ani- 

ns as their direction of 
The two directions 
i oughly b( expi essed i : 
the way of productive self-sup- 

By the way of deductive parasitism. 
These path-takers are broadly rep- 
nted by prey and predator, ivy 
..ii'! oak, by herbivora and carnivora, 
("Bulls and Bears"?), by host and 
i;e — big bugs have little bugs up- 
on their backs to bite 'em, little bugs 


The di\ 
survival to the human on- 

looki ' and 

"downward"— i 

tion. And it i: to be observed that 
this "upward" and "downward" 
oi survival effort passed over with our 
animal nature into human de\ 
ment, and i - ntly into our - 

expedient s and com entions. 

The upward or self-supporl 

j naturally expressed itself early, 

in crude agriculture and rude indus- 

. gradually being developed and 

cJ into modern arts, crafts and 

s cien 

'i'he downward or parasitic tendency 
naturally i ed in its crud- 

esl (cannibalistic) form in the earlier 
and more animal stages, gradually 
(i.\ eloped and "refined" from its 
raw crudness, in keeping with the 
"higher" development of humanity, in- 
to exploitation — slavery direct and in- 
direct; into cunning thievery — legal- 
ized and otherwise; into cunning 
cheats in all their variety — unearned 
"pi i ilit" chasers; into cunning we; 
al> ;orbers — "hoarders," "profiteers," 
etc., and all kinds of wealth-wasters — 
idle poor, idle rich, hobo and aristo- 

The generalized present-day social 
expression of the two trends 1 have 
indicated by dividing society into 
"Maker-," and "Takers." 




As the "New Order" of develop: 
itiiMit progressed (and pri 
man has gradually acquired a distinct 
and conscious preference for the "up- 
ward" direction of developmenl 
a repugnance From even the idea of 
itism— we hate body lice, and 
"varmints" of all kinds. 

thinking — social 
conventions — has not caught up with 
his individual intelligence. We have 

ed habits of bodily cleanlh 
we are as y< ( far from a similar pref- 
ial soap and cathartics 
— externa] and internal social purity. 
Hence par; mun- 

ity do not produce the quick and spon- 
>us loathing which parasites on or 
in the person (bed-bugs, body-lice or 
the individual. 
Witness: "One man's misfortune 
r's opportunity" — a commer- 
cial aphorism, which is a stupid social 
fallacy, but a valid parasitic a- 
also: "profiteer," "interest," "unearned 
increment," "four hundred," etc.; all. 
of which are merely "respectable" 
euphemisms for social matters and 
things that, couched in more direct 
terms, would produce feelings similar 
to those aroused by "louse," "tick," 
and "tape-worm." 

A Basic Proposition. 

Man's advent, then (explain it how 
you will) introduced on earth a being 
differing in kind from all that preceded 
him, a true "combination" of matter 
and spirit, of animal and spiritual, of 
mechanism and — personality. 

In man was "combined" the preda- 
tory animal with its restricting in- 
stincts, and spirit with its unrestricted 

If this proposition is not accepted 
(as earlier I said about a similar one) 
there can be no further discussion; in- 
deed, there can be no "Social Prob- 
lem" to discuss. 

But this proposition once truly re- 
alized, and its valid implications 
rationally applied, the Gordian 
knot of social difficulties calls for no 
cutting, for it loosens up and be- 
comes amenable to comparatively 
easy rational manipulation. 

Human Elements. 

As the complication of machinery 
is resolvable into two simply use- 
able (though incomprehensible) me- 
chanical elements — the wedge and, 
tin- lever— so the complication of 
society and social activity is resolv- 
able into, flows out of, and rests 
upon two simply usable (though in- 
comprehensible) human elements — in- 
stinct and personality. 

These arc the fundamentals of 
Man. individually and collectively; 
and society's function is to employ 
one to liberate the other. 

Junk Piles. 

As in practical mechanics failure 
to get a "working understanding" 
of the simple mechanical elements — 
the wedge and lever — brings mech- 
anistic confusion, "perpetual motion" 
foolishness, vast wastage of human 
energy, wealth, and material; brings 
difficulties (real and imaginary) ana 
fills the Patent Office and junk-piles 
with records of myriad mechanical 
futilities: so with the workaday af- 
fairs of society, failure to get a 
"working understanding" of the sim- 
ple human elements — instinct and 
personality — brings like results, so- 
cial confusion, credit-perpetual-motion 
foolishness, \ast wastage of human 
energy, wealth and material; brings 
difficulties (real and imaginary), debt, 
discontent, H C. L., the myriad futili- 
ties of finance and the host of other 
undesirable items which go to make 
our mountainous social-scrap-pile and 
our ominous "Social Problem''. 

Tangibles and Intangibles. 

As the lever, in its arc movement 
raising a load, combines the physical 
iron bar with intangible time, space, 
and motion and makes available (liber- 
ates) universal energy for human 
use: so the physical animal combined 
with intangible spirit liberates Uni- 
versal Creativeness in its earthly ex- 
pression — Human Personality. 


To carry the analogy still further: 
A ragged tree-branch is a rough-and- 
ready lever of limited effectiveness, 
while a steel-toed, scientifically- 
shaped iron crow-bar is an enor- 


mously powerful and highly efficient 
instrumentality. So, in like manner, 
the greater the perfection of the 
human body, in skeleton, muscle, 
brain ,and sense organs, the more 
efficient an instrumentality it be- 
comes for the creative liberation ot 
the human spirit — self-expression. 

True Efficiency. 

Read Huxley's idea of a worth- 
while man: .... "his body is 
the ready servant of his will, and 
does with care and pleasure all the 
work that as a mechanism it is capa- 
ble of; his intellect is a clear, cold 
logic engine, with all its parts of 
equal strength, and in smooth work- 
ing order, ready like a steam engine 
to be turned to any kind of work, 
and spin the gossamers as well as 
forge the anchors of the mind; his 
mind is stored with knowledge of 
the great and fundamental truths of 
Nature and of the laws of her opera- 
tions; he is no stunted ascetic, he is 
full of life and fire, but his passions 
are trained to come to heel by a 
.vigorous will, the servant of a ten- 
der conscience; he has learned to 
love all beauty, whether of Nature 
or of Art, to hate all vileness, and 
to respect others as himself." 


Lacking a word to express, gener- 
ally, the total interacting mass of men, 
women, and children constituting a 
political aggregation, that is to say, 
the entire communal complex in its 
material aspect, including its mainten- 
ance (making and using in all their 
multifariousness — food, clothing, hous- 
ing, hygiene, reproduction, etc.), I 
have throughout these essays em- 
ploy ed the terms "society," and "social 
functioning" as implying all the peo- 
ple and their total community doings 
which directly affect, or arc directly 
aff( 'led by, the economic processes of 
production, distribution and direction; 
i. e. doers, doing, and dune — nation- 
wide industry — -the entirety of social 
ACTivity — physical society. 

Purpose of Society. 

A sane mind in a healthy body, 
sums up in a few words an ideal of 
human effectiveness, whether consid- 

ered in the individual or in the col- 
lective aspect. 

To make social conditions favor- 
able to this ideal is clearly the main 
(proximate) purpose of society. And 
we have seen that personality is in- 
itiative — creative — self-expression is or 
its essence. So it follows that the 
function of society is twofold, it has 
a direct and an indirect purpose; the 
direct is the care of the body, the 
indirect is to foster freedom of 
personality — "freedom of opportunity'' 
for untrammeled self-expression. 

Direct and Indirect. 

The indirect object (self-expres- 
sion), though paramount, rests on 
first attaining the direct object — 
food, clothing, etc.; for man's spirit 
resides in a physical body. 

The direct object is thus seen to 
be vital, for to fail in it is to fail 

The direct object thus becomes the 
— social object. 

And as, in the family, intelligent 
diousehold economics is vital not 
alone to the physical but the moral 
well-being of its members, so sane 
national economics is of first impor- 
tance to the like well-being of the 

Society "Economic". 

So the advisability of treating so- 
ciety and our social problem as 
"economic" is clear and its advan- 
tages apparent. 

By confining our (social) attention 
to matters which can be dissected, 
analyzed, and synthetized; weighed, 
measured, and catalogued, we are 
dealing with things and acts which 
can be physically dealt with ana 

Though motives are spiritually 
paramount, as society is a physical 
organization, dealing with physical 
things, physical acts, and physical 
problems, we may disregard those 
vague intangibles and confusing spir- 
itualities, for they do not help us in 
physical problems and only hinder 
physical work. 

Not Spiritual. 

In the kitchen, or in the machine 
shop, for example, it would only tend 



to confusion and inefficiency to lug in 
"God," religion, and spiritual concerns, 
which there would be quite imperti- 
nent. In the food-shop, machine-shop, 

or work-shop, my "God," my religion, 
my spiritual problems do not concern 
my fellow-cooks or my fellow-mechan- 
ics or my fellow-workers, no matter 
how ingeniously imaginative the} - may 
be or how spiritually expert. 

So in society — the general work- 
shop — my "God," my religion, my 
spiritual problems do not concern 
other workers, my fellow-citizens, no 
matter how ingeniously imaginative 
they may be or how spiritually ex- 

As family life and family purposes 
(though dependent upon) are exterior 
to and apart from kitchen functioning, 
so it is on a larger scale with society. 

"Personal" Concerns. 

My spiritual concerns are my "per- 
sonal" concerns, to interfere in which 
no fellow citizen nor any other human 
being has the faintest shadow of a 
right — all the "Lord's anointed," all 
the busy-body religionists, all the 
"God-appointed" soul experts in the 
world to the contrary notwithstand- 

In the "separation of Church and 
State" humanity for the first time ef- 
fectively recognized the truth of this 
transcendently important idea. 


Food, clothing, housing, etc., mak- 
ing and taking, are all physical mat- 
ters to be dealt with by physical 
means. To make more or less, to 
take more or less, involve no moral 
or ethical problems, only questions of 
physical expediency — precisely as the 
expedient size of a steam engine or 
the expedient strength of structural 
iron, the expedient proportions of 
chemicals, or amounts of food. 

If I take from a man his food, or 
his clothing, or his housing: hunger 
will gnaw, the blizzard will chill, the 
storm will destroy, just the same, 
whither I take for the "glory of God," 
or for the gratification of my "evil 
passions," or in response to the urge 
of my "instinct to take." The out- 
come in each case is the effect of my 
act, and I alone, (not "God." nor "pas- 

sion," nor "instinct") should, very 
properly, In- held responsible and ac- 
countable to the association of my 
fellows, which my act tends to disrupt 
— "society." 

"Me" and My "God." 

As to the motive behind the doing 
or not doing, behind the making or 
taking, behind the more or les^: that 
is purely a personal matter between 
"me" and my "God." 

If I can justify my motive to "Him," 
so much the belter for me. To my 
fellow-men I am responsible for, and 
only responsible for, my acts and their 

Insatiable Curiosity. 

Our "working understanding" of 
man would be ineffective, lacking con- 
sideration of man's unsatiable curios- 
ity- — an insistent urge which, from the 
earliest and faintest dawn of self-con- 
scious intelligence, man has striven to 

In lowliest form curiosity is prob- 
ably a fear reflex; more developed it 
is desire for scientific "truth," and ul- 
timately it expresses human craving 
to know supreme "Go(o)d." 

Following persistently and immedi- 
ately on the heels of seeing and sens- 
ing, that fire scorches, blizzards chill, 
rocks crush, torrents whelm, and 
man's life-course is beset with haps 
and traps and myriad pitfalls, all seem- 
ingly bent upon his destruction; come 
the insistent questions: — 

How! . . . How did it happen! . . . ? 

Why!. . . Why did it happen!. . . ? 

Old Fearsome Ferocity. 

Seeing that he — himself — could im- 
itate and initiate similar haps, traps 
and pitfalls for others, primitive man 
naturally assumed (with a high degree 
of reasonable probability) "that the 
natural haps were the outcomes of 
fearsomely ferocious invisible beings 
with purposes and passions like his 
own — only more so; beings who, like 
himself, had to be propitiated, into 
friendly mood and kindly act. 

So — naturally — arose "magic" and 
magic causation at the hands of the 
human friends and deputies of invis- 
ible Old Fearsome Ferocity himself, 
and — of his sisters and his cousins and 
his aunts! 


Magic vs. Science. 

Down through all the ages, and 
. .uid ages; down even unto the 
present day, hour and minute — out- 
side the laboratory of the Scientist 
and the workshop of the Mechanic — 
no oilier (than the "act of God" — mir- 
aculous) explanation of unusual haps, 
happen-chances or disasters, has ever 
been forthcoming. 

And, as I have shown in earlier es- 
says of these Technocracy series, in- 
stinctive animal greed (which is only 
another way of expressing primordial 
parasitism) and primitive "magic" are 
still the controlling exploitation fac- 

tors in "Modern Economics, Com- 
merce and Finance." 

Magic, Everywhere and Always. 

Historically magic is known to have 
existed everywhere and at all times. 
Rut we of today are incredulous or 
affronted when told that, in most de- 
partments of life, our way of "think- 
ing" is on a level with those who fee 
augures and haruspices. Classical ex- 
amples arc too well known to pile up 
instances here. But magic heliefs and 
practices among peoples (not much if 
any below ourselves in regard to in- 
trinsic intelligence) in our own day 
are not so well known. 

A Magic Parallel to "Finance." 

. The following instance of present-day magic economics is peculiarly 
pertinent because it significantly shows a successfully working parallel to 
our "Finance." 

I quote from B. Malinowski's "The Primitive Economics of the Tro- 
briant Islanders," Economic Journal (the official organ of the Royal 
Economic Society), March, 1921. 

The essential identity of the Trobriand economics and ours (in parallel 
column) is strikingly illustrated by the very slight change in phraseology 
needed to make one fit the other. Run your eye from column to column 
and note for yourself. 

Trobrianders and Manhattanese. 




The garden magician (towosi) calls 
himself the "master of the garden" 
and is considered as such, in virtue 
of his magical and other functions. 

The Towosi, the hereditary magi- 
cian of each village community, has to 
a great extent control over the ini- 
tiative . . . 

The proceedings of gardening are 
opened by a conference, summoned by 
the chief and held in front of the 
magician's house, at which all arrange- 
ments and the allotment of the garden 
plots are decided upon. Immediately 
after that, the members of the village 
community bring a gift of selected 
food to the garden magician, who at 
night sacrificially offers a portion of 
il to the ancestral spirits, with an in- 
vocation, and at the same time utters 
a lengthy spell over some special 



The financial magician (morgan- 
feller) calls himself the "master of the 
finances" ai d is considered as such, in 
virtue of his complex magical and 
other functions. . . . 

The Morganfeller, the legalized 
magician of each industrial commun- 
ity, has to a great extent control over 
the initiative . . . 

The proceedings of a prospective 
enterprise are opened by a conference, 
summoned by the company president 
and held in the magician's hanking 
lw use, at which all arrangements and 
allotment of stocks, bonds, and mort- 
gages are decided upon. Immediately 
after that, the members of the indus- 
trial community bring deposits of 
funds to the banker magician, who at 
night sacrificially offers a portion of 
it to the spirits of posterity, with an 
invocation to "manufacture credit," 



[eaves. Next morning, the magician 
repairs to the garden, accompanied 
by the men of the village, each of 
whom carries an axe with the charmed 

leaves wrapped around its blade. 
While the villagers stand around, the 
Towosi (magician) strikes the ground 
with a ceremonial staff, uttering a 
formula. This he does on each garden 
plot successively . . . 

In a series of rites, lasting as a 
rule for about three days, he inaugu- 
rates the work of clearing the garden 
plot . . . 

The planting of • yams is inaugu- 
rated by a very elaborate ceremony, 
also extending over a few days, during 
which no further garden work is done 
at all. A magical rite of its own in- 
augurates each further stage, the erec- 
tion of supports for the yam vines; the 
weeding of the gardens; cleaning the 
yam roots and tubers; the premilinary 
harvest; and finally the main harvest 
of yams. 

When the plants begin to grow, a 
series of magical rites, parallel with 
the inaugural ones, is performed, in 
which the magician is supposed to 
give an impulse to the growth and de- 
velopment of the plant at each of its 
successive stages. Thus one rite is 
performed to make the seed tuber 
sprout; another drives up the sprout- 
ing shoot; another lifts it out ot the 
ground; yet another makes it twine 
around the support; then with yet 
other rites, the leaves are made to bud, 
to open, to expand. 

The natives believe deeply that 
through this magic the Towosi con- 
trols the forces of Nature, and they 
also believe that he ought to control 
the work of man. To start a new 
stage of gardening without a magical 
inauguration is for then, unthinkable. 

Their implicit belief in magic also 
supplies them with a leader, whose 
initiative and command they are ready 
to accept. . . . 

The authority cf the chief, the be- 
lief in magic, and the prestige of the 
magician arc the social and psycho- 
logical forces which regulate and or- 
ganize production. 

and at the same time utters a lengthy 
spell over special leaves of account 
books. Next morning the financier 
repairs to the stock-market, accom- 
panied by members, each one of whom 
carries stock (leaves) wrapped up in 
a wad. While the community stand 
around, the Morganfeller (magician) 
strikes the gong with a ceremonial 
staff, uttering a formula. This he does 
for each enterprise successively . . . 

In a series of rites, lasting as a 
rule for about three days, he inaugu- 
rates the work of capitalizing the en- 
terprise . . . 

The incorporation is inaugurated by 
a very elaborate ceremony, also ex- 
tending over a few days, during which 
no further real work is done at all. 
A magical financial rite of its own 
inaugurates each further stage, the 
erection of machines for the plant; 
the purchase of material; running of 
the enterprise; the preliminary profit; 
and finally the main harvest of 

\\ hen the plants begin to grow, a 
series of magical financial rites, par- 
allel with the inaugural ones, is per- 
formed, in which the financial magi- 
cian is supposed to give an impulse 
to the growth and development of the 
plants at each successive stage. Thus 
one rite is performed to make the in- 
vestment sprout; another drives up 
the price of the product; another lifts 
it still higher; yet another makes the 
stock reach par; then with yet other 
rites to make the ttock bear big divi- 
dends; to bear still bigger ones; to ex- 
pand into subsidiary corporations. 

The people believe deeply that 
through his magic the Morganfeller 
controls the foices of Nature, and 
they also beiieve that he ought to con- 
trol the work of man. To start a new 
stage of any enterprise without a 
money-magic inauguration is for them 

Their implicit belief in money magic 
also supplies them with a leader, 
whose initiative and command they 
are ready to accept. . . 

The authority of the Law, the belief 
in magic, and the prestige of the 
money-magician are the social and 
phychological forces which regulate 
and organize production. 



We would sec their economic activ- 
ities in an entirely wrong perspective, 
if we imagined thai these natives are 
temperamentally lazy and can work 
only under some outside pressure. 
Tiny have a keen interest in their gar- 
dens, work with spirit, and can do 
sustained and efficient work, both 
when they do it individually and com- 

We would see their economic activi- 
ties in an entirely wrong perspective, 

if we were to imagine that Americans 
are temperamentally lazy and can 
work only under some outside pres- 
sure. They have a keen interest in 
their occupations, work with spirit, 
and can do sustained work, both when 
they do it individually and com- 

Essential Identity. 

Whatever may be said regarding 
the differences in details of the Tro- 
briand and Manhattanese "economics,"' 
how can their essential identity be 
reasonably questioned? 

( >n the one hand there is the 
childish belief in the magic powers 
of rites, spells, and invocations. 

On the other, the equally childish 
belief in the magic powers of inani- 
mate money, intangible wealth, ana 
mythical credit. 

One rests its unscientific faith 
(credit) upon the dead workers of the 
past, the other rests its equally un- 
scientific faith (credit) upon the non- 
existent workers of the future. 

Both are equally unscientific in 
their fatuous belief in effects 
flowing from non-existent causes — 

In both "economic systems" igno- 
rant belief in magic, and ignorant be- 
licl in the supposed power of 
magicians over the forces and pro- 
cesses of Nature, are the effective 
means to enslave the worker masses 
and control the product of their toil. 

"Business Is Business." 

That the morgan fellers of the Tro- 
briand Islands do not work their 
spells and invocations merely for 
"the good of their health," nor en- 
tirely for the spiritual uplift of their 
fellows, is clear from Malinowski's 
account, hut, like practical business- 
men, they — get their rake-off. 

That the Towosis of Manhattan 
Island, et ah, do not work their 
credit-and-money-magic merely for 
considerations of physical or spiritual 
hygiene — personal or collective — but, 
that they (also like practical busi- 
nessmen) "gel theirs" — seems to be 

indubitable from the evidence of the 
"Pujot Commission on the Money 
Trust" of 1913, from which 1 quote: 

Some "Gift"! 
"Morgan & Co. and their four chief 
hanking dependencies held control 
Directorships. Resources. 

118 in 34 banks $ 2,679,000,000 

105 in 32 transportation 

systems 11,784,000,000 

63 in 24 manufacturing 
and trading 

companies... 3,339,000,000 
30 in 10 insurance com- 
panies 2,293,000,000 

25 in 12 public utilities.. 2,150,000,000 

Yes! it would certainly seem that 
our Manhattan Towosis get their — 

Before 1914 — And After. 

This, remember, was in 1913, be- 
fore the late general fracas — before 
the world went on its world-wide 
costly and crazy debauch of "credit" 
pipe dreams. 

During those bloody nightmare 
years (while the White World, in 
vital struggle and tragic desperation, 
was killing men by the million and 
destroying real wealth by the bil- 
lion) our Tricksy Cunning financial 
Tow r osis were busy too — muttering 
magic "credit" spells — uttering cco- 
nomic-magic ( hundred-billion -dollar-), 
paper promises — making parasitic 
millionaires by the thousand! — ab- 
sorbing (real) wealth by the billion! 

Truly, it would appear that our 
Towosis "got theirs all right, all 
right"! — as vulgar Jack Robinson 
would put it. 




Commenting on "Looking Forward 
as We Glance Backward" by Theo 
dore H. Price (editor of "Commerce 
and Finance") in the Outlook of 
January 19, 1921, I had occasion to 

"Statisticians give the number of 
the White Race as about rive hun- 
dred millions; or say one hundred 
million families. Taking the credit 
debts, national, public, and private, 
at fifteen hundred billion dollars (a 
very conservative estimate), there is 
a pro-rata interest-bearing debt ot 
$15,000 saddled upon every family, 
which at 5% means an inescapable 
interest charge of $750.00 a year, or 
$2.00 a day." 

Seventy-five billion dollars tribute 
every year — forever! 

That's the "gift" we bring our 
Towosis for their magical "manufac- 
ture of credit" (debts) to the tune of 
$1,500,000,000,000, in a little over a 

Yes, indeed, some "GIFT". 

A "MissingLink". 

From the same article ("Glancing 
Backward as We Look Forward," 
by the present writer), as pertinent 
and suggestive of a connecting link 
and kinship between the "Econom- 
ics" of Trobriand and Manhattan, I 
will further quote: 

Repeating Past Blunders. 

"While it is true that history, as 
Mr. Price says, never repeats itself, 
yet we may, if we will, learn from 
the past to avoid repeating past 

For example and as bearing on our 
present point: Not so very long ago 
the "Church" was extensively en- 
gaged in selling "indulgences" — that 
is, dealing in "future savings", 
"treasures in heaven". In other 
words, it was floating super-mun- 
dane credit. The makers and pur- 
veyors of these super-worldly credit 
instruments derived great worldly 
profit from the traffic, acquiring vast 
physical possessions. The credulous 
buyers of this dream-wealth, on the 
other hand, seem not to have done 
so well. 

Super-mundane credit, in this 

form, and popular willingness to "ab- 
sorb" these credit issues, gradually 
declined to zero point (as the mar- 
ket "value" of Towosi magic spells 
wotdd vanish in the white light of — 
botanical and agricultural — Science); 
only, however, towge substituted by 
credit issues of equally mythical fu- 
ture wealth, for which credulous ab- 
sorbers arc still plentiful — "one born 
every minute," so 't is said. 

Dream Wealth. 

The trouble with dealing with all 
forms of "future" wealth lies in the 
fact that because the future is in- 
finite in extent, its optimistically 
supposititious wealth partakes of the 
same infinite character; whereas 
present — that is, matter-of-fact exist- 
ing — wealth is necessarily always 
finite, limited. 

Great Expectations. 

To any mind courageous and naive 
— that is, undistorted by pseudo-eco- 
'nomic and pseudo-theologic casuis- 
try — the difference between an of- 
fering of "indulgences" and a new 
company's prospectus (or the prom- 
ise by a Towosi of a bumper crop 
of Trobriand yams — ) is not nearly 
so great as popularly assumed. And 
closer inspection will then reveal a 
startling, but withal illuminating, 
identity in essential principle. In 
either case a transfer of actual com- 
modities is besought in exchange of 
"Great Expectations". 

A Dangerous Fallacy. 

Herein lies the essential fallacy of 
the world-wide collective delusion — 
our Great Credit Myth. 

How could anything different from 
or better than present conditions is- 
sue from such a dangerous fallacy? 

And how could anyone discerning 
that fallacy (as I did, years ago, long 
before the war) fail to anticipate 
what has actually come about?" 


We have now reached a position 
in our investigation at which we may 
snug up the accumulated material 
into more compact form: 

The Universe disclosses itself to 
us as dynamic, creative; and Man's 



spirit discloses itself as partaking 
of the same essential character. 

Man is a self-conscious, gregarious 
animal in a mechanistic, animalistic, 
and man-made environment, which 
is friendly or otherwise depending 
on how he acts toward it. 

In this marvelous, manifold, and 
varied setting made up of myriad 
things and forces, wholly indifferent 
and neutral to his wants and wishes, 
Man is free to choose wisely or 
otherwise and — take the conse- 

He is even free to be unfree — if 
he so chooses; for it is only by and 
in the rational exercise of his free- 
dom that he becomes free; spiritually 
free by self-liberation from the 
irrationalities of gross superstition — 
magic; physically free by ac- 
quiring and rationally using knowl- 
edge of the truths of Nature and the 
laws of her operations. 

While his spirit is ever potentially 
free, his physical freedom is condi- 
tioned upon his rational attitude to- 
wards the unvarying law and order of 
the physical universe. 

Though "personally" Man is spirit- 
ually free, physically he is in a world 
in which "there are others" (also spir- 
itually free and physically con- 
ditioned) like himself, towards 
whom as towards other _ ele- 
ments of his environment, he is free 
to act rationally or otherwise, and — 
take the consequences. 

Hence Society. 

Human instincts are as much facts 
in the order of Nature as any other, 
and willy-nilly must be acquiesced in. 
Like other elements of Man's en- 
vironment (including "others"), in- 
stincts are friends or enemies de- 
pending upon how he acts towards 
his own and towards the instincts of 

Man's instincts are, so to say, the 
environment of his spirit, so self- 
expression must satisfy both the 
"natural" urge of instincts and the 
creative urge of his spirit. 

Hence the "Social Problem." 

This problem involves the social 
task of harnessing the "animal" by 

socializing the instincts through ra- 
tional organization of society — the 
social environment; and elimination 
of ignorant belief in and reliance 
upon magic. 

In the animal world, under the 
"old order," two main survival paths 
were open — self-support and parasit- 

These survival trends passed over 
into "human" development, so into 
our social expedients and conven- 

Modern man has acquired a prefer- 
ence for the "upward" trend and 
hence a repugnance to the idea of 

This "preference" has become — in 
view of the overwhelming develop- 
ment of parasitism (under "Capital- 
ism") during the last half century — 
probably the most important stress 
factor in our modern "Social Prob- 

The spirit of a man — with its "pref- 
erence" for the "upward" path, its 
aspirations after high ideals, its God- 
like creativeness — resides in and is 
dependent upon a body, with its 
physical needs, its physical wants, 
and it's physical requirements. 

Social Purpose. 

Taking all these matters into con« 
sideration, it would appear that: 

The main (proximate) purpose of 
"Society" is to facilitate the econ- 
omical production and the efficient 
distribution of food, clothing, hous- 
ing, etc., to each of its human units 
without fictitious (privilege) distinc- 
tion, and in such way as to effect 
the greatest physical well-being of 
its individual members. 

But a social organization which 
ends merely as an effective instru- 
ment for individual well-being (re- 
gardless of humanity's essentially 
mutual aspect) is little if any ad- 
vance on raw non-conscious gregari- 
ous instinct, which also unifies the 
herd (under the "old order") for 
the well-being of its members. 

Docs it not, therefore, seem ob- 
vious that a rational social organiza- 
tion — in order to be consistent with 
Evolutionary Progress and with Hu- 



man Nature — must unite the consci- 
ous wills of its members in "up- 
ward" ever expanding and consci- 
ously perceived rational purposes? 

Does it not seem obvious that the 
only form of national organization 

which is enduring and "humanly" de- 
sirable is one in which self-conscious- 
nesa and other-consciousness, individ- 
uality and mutuality, are inter-ad- 
justed and work harmoniously for 
the spiritually worth-while purposes 
of the Nation? 

Fernwald, Berkeley, California, 
May 31, 1921. 




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Third Series 


The World's Great Crisis: 

Emergence of Social Self-Consciousness 

By William Henry Smyth 

NOTE: Part IV outlines Social Reconstruction in the light of the evi- 
dence and the conception of man previously set forth. The moving force and 
the practical means are indicated for bringing about such changes as will 
make of society a truly "human" institution, designed to aid the expression 
of human personality; and by this enfranchisement and the unison of minds 
in a national objective, raising the American people to unguessed heights of 

Irascible Strong. 

Irascible Strong, irrepressible old 
killer, has been relegated to the low- 
ermost social stratum of yegg, thug 
and gunfighter and — war. 

Blundering old Irascible; but, he 
gave us our reckless and unconquer- 
able physical courage, and he saved 
us from a lot of less desirable, still 
more dunder - headed would - be an- 
cestors who sought Trixie's frolic- 
some favors. 

What do we not owe to Irascible's 
uncertain temper, his strenuosity, 
and his big stick! Oh! a bad, bold 
swashbuckler was Irascible Strong, 
our humorous first parent — a sigh 
and rosemary for his strenuous social 
virtues; for his jocund peccadils — the 
statute of limitations. 

Trixie Cunning. 

And what a bunch of unmitigated 
blundering boobs we would have 
been, but for Trixie's frolicsome even 
if stealth}^ cunning. Today, doubt- 
less none of us would pick Trixie 
in lieu of his own particular mother; 
but as the mother of the race, we 
could hardly have done better. 

Cunning Strong. 

Would-be world conqueror, self- 
centered Cunning Strong, has been 
dumped into the limbo of the gov- 
ernmental scrap-pile, with the pass- 
ing of Autocracy and the develop- 
ment of an effective Vox Populi. 

But what would Democracy avail 

or amount to, without its Cunning 
Strongs! Where would we find 
worth-while executives, or what could 
be substituted in leadership, lacking 
men of combined strength and cun- 


Tricksy Cunning. 

Tricksy Cunning is now in the sad- 
dle (or rather in the counting 
house) and in legal possession of 
the World's Wealth, hence has con- 
ventional ownership of the World 
and — all that it contains. 

Clearly Tricksy is most earnestly 
and conscientiously (even if uncon- 
sciously) doing, in these latter days 
and for her latest descendants, what 
Trixie did in her own inimitable 
fashion for (their other first parent) 
her slow-witted mate. 

Tricksy — truly, an all too efficient 
eliminator of dunderheads — is jolting 
our sluggard wits in many effective 
ways, and particularly those of our 
modern Simple Strongs — by killing 
them off in "economic" wars, and in 
peace "economically" starving their 
foolish bellies. 

His function in the past is of obvi- 
ous and inestimable value, and to- 
day it is hardly less indispensable. 

I cherish and admire my Tricksy 
Cunning friends, Mr. Banker and Mr. 
Parson; but I do so with my own 
tricksy cunning wits alert for the 
safety of my purse, and for the free- 
dom of my soul; and old Irascible in 
me would joy to see the Dempsey- 
Carpentier scientific slugging match 



and a fair knockout at the end of a 
good stiff fight. 

Skillful Strong. 

Of Skillful Strong and his past and 
present value nothing need be said: 
his works speak louder than words — 
even megaphoned from the mountain 

Simple Strong. 

But these valuable deviations from 
the norm are of little worth com- 
pared to Simple Strong — the Masses; 
the masses in whom is potential all 
the strength of Cunning Strong, all 
the cunning of Tricksy Cunning, all 
the skill of Skillful Strong; all the 
genius, all the spiritual worth, all 
the realizable ideals of the race. 
If We So Will It! 

Looked at thus (and who will 
question the validity of this view), 
what is there in present conditions 
about which to be pessimistic? 

Considering the past, and the way 
we have come and the victories we 
have gained; considering our lowly 
beginnings, the infinitude of Nature, 
and the heights which Man has at- 
tained physically and spiritually, is 
not the future filled to overflowing 
with glorious possibilities: 

If We so will it, and — have the 
courage of our convictions. 
Opposite Outlooks. 

A school teacher recently destroy- 
ed herself — overwhelmed with the 
thought of the siderial heaven's mag- 
nitude compared to man. 

How crassly foolish, how utterly 
irrational her thought! 

When I consider the unbounded 
starry firmament and the equally un- 
bounded microcosm — and Man's all- 
embracing Mind comprehending both. 
I am uplifted to the high heavens of 
spiritual exaltation. For what is 
Betelgeuse with its mere bulks of 
incandescent gases, no matter how 
huge, or _ the light years of mere 
space which separate us from them, 
compared to a single human spirit 
which takes in, weighs, measures, an- 
alyses, deduces past, present and 
future, not alone of Betelgeuse but 
of myriad directioned other star 
masses greater and more distant? 

Should we be depressed? 

•We should not! 

Gcd is God, and Nature is His true 
Prophet: He is in His high Heaven 
and all is well with the World — if 
We so choose. 

Social Self-Consciousness. 

The necessity for rational choice is 
upon us, immediate, and insistent. 

We are, as I believe, at a momen- 
tous stage in human history; indeed, 
a vital crisis is upon us, in the devel- 
opment of the race — our race, the 
White Race. 

Something of vital moment seems 
impending: it's in the air, we all feel 
it; sense it in as many ways as there 
are differences in characters, tempera- 
ments, interests and outlooks: laws, 
customs, conventions, institutions, 
habits, are in turbulent flux — as never 
before in the world's history; a war 
is waged comparable to nothing in 
human experience; the American peo- 
ple in seeming violation of their con- 
structive instincts, their peaceful 
character and freedom-loving nature 
accepts conscription, practically with- 
out a dissenting voice and becomes 
over night a wealth-destroying mili- 
tary nation; with equal unanimity the 
American people deprive themselves 
(voluntarily) of many accustomed 
foods, that other nations might eat; 
they loan (virtually give) their wealth 
by the billion to save other nations 
from vital harm. 

Volumes have been written upon 
the signal happenings of our times, 
so I will only add (as I have not seen 
the matter I have in mind referred to 
in a manner commensurate with its 
significance) that this United States, 
the largest, most united, most power- 
ful political division of the White 
Race, discarding all precedent, de- 
manded, asked or accepted no quid 
pro quo for these lavish contributions 
to an ideal, but voluntarily, unani- 
mously, gladly gave of its blood, its 
man-power, its wealth, and its re- 
sources — a gloriously unique and stu- 
pendous exemplification of united col- 
lective spirit — national altruism: al- 
truism — national altruism, mark you: 
altruism i. e. "other-consciousness," 
the necessary concomitant of Self- 



Is ii conceivable that all this exal- 
tation of human vitality, all this tor- 
rential outpouring of human emotion, 
all this spiritual uplift, means nothing 
— nothing but a trivial passing phase? 

I cannot so see it. 

And. what phrases are more com- 
monly current today than "Group con- 
sciousness," "Class consciousness," 
"National consciousness?" 

To me it seems (and the notion will 
not down) that it all presages social 
re-birth: that what I have noted and 
what I have implied are the preliminary 
symptoms, the birth pains of social 
regeneration through the emergence 
of Social Self-consciousness. 

"Animal" vs. "Human." 

My fervent — and I firmly believe 
my rationally founded — hope is, that 
it is so. 

If my hope is only a foolish and il- 
lusory dream, then, indeed, must I 
shed my comforting optimism, and 
look with what philosophic resignation 
I can muster at the ominous future 
which faces our White Civilization. 

For as I envisage the situation, it 
would appear as a life-and-death con- 
test between antithetical forces — so- 
cially destructive "animal" parasitism 
(emphasized by Capitalism), and the 
vital emergence of regenerative "hu- 
man" social self-consciousness. 

If the latter is laggard or unduly de- 
layed, by ignorance, or by greedy 
parasitic design, the "downward" 
trend will carry us into the social 
quagmire, the social slough of de- 
spond, in which will be overwhelmed 
beneath the slime of animalism, the 
civilization of the White World. 

Menace or Salvage. 

If, on the contrary, we can and do 
accelerate the development of social 
self-conscious rationality — mutuality — 
the very momentum of the parasitic 
forces may be turned to social good. 
And those super-one-sided individuals 
who now in the exercise of their 
highly trained acquisitive propensities 
are a social menace of the most pro- 
nounced type, will under the (second) 
"new order" of human development 
become social factors of great human 
worth and of highest social value. 


(Within an hour after writing the 
foregoing, I read in the editorial col- 
umn of the morning's paper [June 7] 
a few short paragraphs, so peculiarly 
apropos, that I cannot refrain from 
quoting them: 

"The City of New York is in debt 
more than a thousand million dollars. 
One citizen, if it were possible to re- 
alize on his possessions at their full 
value, could pay the debt of New York 
City and have more than a thousand 
million left. These are days of big 

"Observe this fact: If this man, fifty 
years ago, had been put in charge of 
New York City's finances, with power 
to develop its street cars, wharves, 
real estate, gas, electric light, tele- 
phone and other natural monopolies 
for the public benefit, New York City 
wouldn't owe a dollar, would have no 
disgraceful slums and would have a 
thousand millions in the bank — if it 

"At this point in our progress to- 
ward civilization, exceptional individ- 
ual intelligence is devoted to exploit- 
ing the masses. Later it will strive to 
protect and enrich them. Then many 
problems will be solved.") 

Evolutionary Revolution. 

All of us, I take it, have accepted 
in some form or other that: Nature's 
method is evolutionary. 

This, however, does not exclude 
cataclysms — crises. Indeed, that such 
cccur in "Nature" is even more ob- 
vious than its antithesis — develop- 
ment by infinitely small changes. 

Animal evolution, then, as in geo- 
logic adjustment, proceeds by a iong 
series of imperceptible changes till a 
point of critical stress is reached, then 
comes the jar, the shock — the evolu- 
tionary revolution — a new species is 
suddenly formed, or it may be a new 
order of conditions is inaugurated, to 
form in its turn a new point of evo- 
lutionary departure. 

Social Cataclysms. 

Social development (as I read his- 
tory and see it in its becoming) is not 
exempt from this otherwise universal 
— revolutionary — phase of evolution. 

In the complex of society, gradual 



evolutionary changes are easily ob- 
servable as proceeding incessantly. 
Ihit what is not nearly so apparent is 
the Fact that superadded to this slow 
change then' is to be noted (by those 
who have eyes to see) an accumulat- 
ing mas- strain, which will and must, 
sooner or later, be released with the 
always unexpected suddenness of an 

Must White Race Go? 

This possibility of an "evolution- 
ary revolution" is not a mere thought 
or theory which can be lightly waived 
aside. It is profoundly serious and 
possibly a tragic condition which 
confronts us. 

As a tragic crisis to an individual 
leaves a blank which takes time to 
till; as our San Francisco disaster 
left behind it human misery not yet 
assuaged, obliterated wealth and art 
treasures much of which can never 
be replaced, made miles square of 
black ruin involving huge unneces- 
sary expenditure of human energy 
to repair; as the World War lett 
in its wake devastation and debt 
which will take generations to rep- 
arate and liquidate: so the racial 
catastrophe, when it comes — as come 
it will — may sweep the white race 
into chaos, out of which ages of 
time alone can again bring order — 
possibly with the White Race gone 
for all time. 

Yes, the white race gone for all 

Up to Us. 

For "Nature" cares no more for 
the white race than she does for a 
drug-crazed individual, or for thought- 
less San Francisco, or for suicidal 

But . . ! 

As an individual can, by rational 
foresight, turn temporary ills into 
permanent benefit, so the American 
Nation, by such foresight and fore- 
handed preparation, may turn im- 
pending crises into practically ever- 
lasting social betterment — opportuni- 
ties for unguessed heights of achieve- 

If We so choose. 

Die or Diet? 

One of the common expedients in 
Agriculture to get rid of predatory 
pests is to foster their "natural en- 
emy" — dogs for sheep-destroying 
wolves, cats for rats, mongooses for 
snakes, parasites for parasites. 

And this expedient is usually more 
effective and cheaper than shot- 

You will remember also that when 
(by super-strenuous predatory atten- 
tion) the particular prey of a preda- 
tor, or host of a parasite, "plays out," 
the predator has only two options — 
either to die or to reform his diet. 


Recall now the two (self-support 
and parasitic) trends of survival ef- 
fort referred to in Part III of this 
Technocracy series — the "upward" 
and "downward" path. 

You will remember I said towards 
the end of that Part: 

"Modern man has acquired a pref- 
erence for the 'upward' trend and 
hence a repugnance to the idea ot 

"This 'preference' has become — in 
view of the overwhelming develop- 
ment of parasitism (under 'Capital- 
ism') during the past half-century — 
probably the most important stress 
factor in our modern 'Social Prob- 

Modern Economics — Parasitic. 

Indeed it can hardly be questioned 
that modern economics, that modern 
industrial enterprises, that modern 
political entities or Nations (regard- 
less of what they are called or the 
wording of their constitutions) are 
fundamentally based upon the racially 
primordial principle of "parasitism", 
and not upon that of "self-support". 

Individually human intelligence has 
developed a "preference" for the "up- 
ward" path: lagging social intelli- 
gence has developed conformably to 
the "downward" course — hence the 
rapidly growing stress and imminent 
catastrophic adjustment jolt — evolu- 
tionary revolution. 

Easy Street— Sweat Street? 

I have also, on numerous occa- 
sions, reminded you that Taking is 



easier than Making, and cunning 
costs less physical effort than work. 
Basking in the bright lights of the 
roof-gardens on Easy Street is sen- 
sually pleasanter than toiling and 
moiling in the mud of Sweat Street. 
Quite "naturally" the roof-gardens 
tend to overcrowding — introducing 
structural stresses tending to sudden 
collapse or other catastrophic jolt — 
the "natural' outcome of man's irra- 
tional misuse of his freedom. 

Cheese Sandwiches and Beer. 

You remember the excursion boat, 
and how she turned turtle and 
drowned hundreds of her human 
freight in the Chicago river. 

Had the same weight been dis- 
posed below the waterline instead of 
upon the upper. decks: it would have 
required many thousand foot-tons of 
force, days of time, and elaborate en- 
gineering, to do what "she" did in 
seconds with the ease of a sleight- 
of-hand artist. 

Had those running the excursion 
boat (foreseeing the danger) ar- 
ranged long tables with piles of 
cheese sandwiches thereon and kegs 
of beer on tap at convenient inter- 
vals — all on the lower deck, below 
the waterline (whatever might have 
happened to exuberant individuals), 
the turning turtle would not have 
happened to the boat. 

Merely Illustrative. 

Of course, I'm not putting forward 
this particular precautionary measure 
as a general remedy. . . . Mere- 
ly illustrative of a principle. 
You understand? 

Any way, "she" would not have 
turned turtle, and thus the costly 
consequences would have been 

To that you will certainly agree. 

Bui you may protest: Boats do 
not usually turn turtle — so how could 
any one foresee . . . ? 

No power in the Universe will 
compel one to foresee! 

But! if one does not foresee . . . ; 

Call the Turn! 
Nature makels no distinction be- 
tween the dung-ball of a tumble-bug, 
a human being, a teeming metropolis, 

or a race; or whether a race be 
white, black, yellow, or — green. 

Nor does Nature care a tinker's 
dam for "untoward consequences" — 
as humanly conceived. 

If the conditions naturally call for 
catastrophic turtle-turning — Nature 
will call the turn. 

"Society" Topheavy. 

And it would certainly seem that 
social conditions are ripe and nat- 
urally call for the social structure to 
turn turtle, for it is obviously top- 

There is too much superstructure 
above the waterline, too much at- 
traction on the upper deck — and too 
little "sandwiches and beer" below 
the waterline — to satisfy modern 
man, the modern "masses". 

Seventy-five billion dollars yearly 
interest — "unearned increment" — para- 
sitically abstracted from the toiling 
and moiling proletariat! 

Animalistic — Humanistic. 

In brief, and this is our (oft-men- 
•tioned. but seldom baldly stated) "So- 
cial Problem": our social structure is 
built to facilitate and develop para- 
sitism — parasitism which is essen- 
tially animalistic, not a humanistic 

Hence (humanly speaking) our so- 
cial structure is built upon a false 
basic principle. 

The inevitable outcome requires no 
prophet to foretell — it is obvious: 

If "society" continues along pres- 
ent lines of development, the "ani- 
mal" will survive, the "human" will 

Truly! turning turtle of the social 
structure is imminent — if - we - don't - 
look - out! 

Detail Remedies Futile. 

Since the existing social structure is 
faulty — false in principle, it is self- 
evident that no amount of well-inten- 
tioned "remedial" measures directed 
to specific "evils" will be of avail. Such 
activities may, indeed, conceivably 
make the general "evil" worse, by 
adding stresses and accentuating mal- 
adjustment and lack of co-ordination 
between man's essential nature and his 
social machinery. 



Reconstruction means that: 
Our reconstructive efforl must be 
expended purposive ly along basic 
lines, on fundamental principles to 
bring the resulting "society" into har- 
mony with man's essential "human" 

The Inventor — A Teacher. 
The typical inventor is pre-eminent- 
ly the man who consciously (and 
painstakingly) seeks and finds new 

and favorable relations to natural 
forces, for the realization of a pre- 
conceived purpose: the purpose being 
the satisfaction of a "want," i.e. lack 
of adjustment to environment. 

He makes dreams come true. 

He translates an idea into a useable 

A successful machine is only an 
idea (or group of ideas) become em- 
bodied. It is the essential idea, not 
the mass of details, which character- 
izes the completed result. As in anal- 
ysing the battleship, you will remem- 
ber, I called to your attention, not a 
mass of bewildering detail parts, but 
the essential ideas and how they hang 
together and combine to produce a 
unitary result. 

What, then, have we specifically 
available for social reconstruction, 
analogous, or socially corresponding 
first: to the inventor's means, and 
second: to his mental equipment? 

Some "Means"! 

As to the first: The United States 
has more than a hundred million peo- 
ple: vast productive power: vast con- 
sumption capability, vast "purchasing" 
power. Its natural resources are on 
even larger scale. It has every essen- 
tial food product and raw material 
except rubber. More than three mil- 
lion square miles in solid mass, ex- 
traordinarily diversified climatically 
and topographically, etc. About 300 
million acres under cultivation: lead- 
ing place among all nations. More 
farm animals than combined five prin- 
cipal civilized nations next United 
States. Forest only exceeded by Rus- 
sia. Half the world's coal measures 
are in the United States. One-third of 
world's railway mileage in the United 
States; and one-sixth of the world's 

The United Stales, with only 6% 
of the world's population, produces of 
the world's 

( rold '. 21 )' i 

Silver 40'; 

Iron and steel 409< 

Copper 60' - 

Lead 41 )' I 

Zinc 50' e 

Aluminum 60* '< 

Coal 50% 

Cotton 60% 

Coal oil 66% 

Wheat 25% 

Corn 75% 

Automobiles 85% 


Loans to European gov- 
ernments $10,000,000,000 

Private loans 10,000,000,000 

Merchandise on con- 
signment 2,000,000,000 

"Investments" 8,000,000,000 


which "the United States" has coming 
(?) from Europe. 

Some "Equipment"! 

And as to the second: It is a mis- 
taken notion that "inventiveness" is a 
special "faculty" endowing the few 
and withheld from the many. (As 
clearly pointed out in a widely copied 
article, "Is the Inventive Faculty a 
Myth," by the present writer, in the 
Engineering Magazine, May, 1895.) 
Varying at most in degree, inventive- 
ness is a universal "human" posses- 
sion; though by most people little 
used and hence not fully realized. And 
through disuse (both self-inhibited and 
socially repressed) has become "prac- 
tically" unusable and so "practically" 
lacking, in many individuals, hence 
seemingly rare in the community. 

This general inventiveness is sus- 
ceptible of enormous development 
through judicious exercise and proper 
stimulation, both individually and so- 
cially, of which stimulation — freedom 
is the foremost factor. 

But there is also available a body of 
special inventiveness, which hitherto 
(most stupidly) has not been socially 
tapped: the Scientists and the Tech- 



"To Know"— "To Make." 

These Scientists and these Techni- 
cians arc the best fitted by nature, by 
instinct, by economic trait, and by 
educational training, to seek and to es- 
tablish appropriate social relations to 
natural and national physical forces 
and resource-. 

The Scientist is so fitted because he 
is the most intensive human expres- 
sion of the "Desire to Know," which 
desire rises from the general mass of 
the animal (monkey-like) instinct of 

The Technician is so fitted because 
lit is the most intensive human expres- 
sion of the urge to real-ize, which urge 
rises from the general mass of the 
animal (beaver-like) instinct to make. 

But the work of both scientist and 
technician, hitherto, has been "pri- 
vate;" socially, (collectively) unco- 
ordinated, often enough contradictory, 
frequently anti-socially. 


Wry significant of the parasitic 
trend of present "society" is the woe- 
ful contrast between how much ap- 
plied science has increased the mere 
hulk of products, and how little the 
infinitely more important physical and 
spiritual freedom of the producer. 

And this, in spite of the fact, as we 
have seen, that the prime function of 
"society" is the liberation of person- 
ality not — the deification of "efficient" 

Since, as a rule, scientists and tech- 
nicians are not rich men's sons (and 
a man must eat to live) their work 
usually is performed for the "good" of 
the possessing few rather than for the 
benefit of the wanting many or — the 
( '( immonweal. 

In the First Series of these Tech- 
nocracy papers I indicated, on broad 
lines but sufficiently clearly for prac- 
tical purposes a "practical remedy" — 

Towosieized Technicians. 
On numerous occasions I have di- 
rected your attention to the prac- 
tically universal belief in magic — 
magic causation. The use directly 
and indirectly, both of this fallacy 
and of the widespread belief therein, 
makes them into effective handser- 

vants of parasitism under its "Cap- 
italistic" expression. 

The spirit and method of Science 
arc the direct antithesis of magic. 

It is science which has produced 
the "Machine Shop". 

It is magic that has produced 

In the machine shop. Science rules 
only in so far as machine processes 
go: there its control stops. 

The social control of the Machine 
Shop lies with the Towosis of 

Thus it is that our Towosis (like 
those Of Trobriand) control not only 
the work, the workmen, the work 
shop — "industrial society" is only the 
Great Work Shop — but our Towosis 
run the scientists and Science itself! 

The "natural" consequence of this 
non-social ("kept") position of scien- 
tists ami technicians, including our 
Towosi pensioned teachers and Pro- 
fessors of "Economics", is that they 
have acquired a bias in favor of para- 
sitic Tricksy C. Towosi, both of 
which (i. e., Towosi and their bias 
in his favor) arc in pathetically lu- 
dicrous opposition to their own in- 
tellectual essence. 

Towosieized Industry. 

The existing mix-up of course is 
advantageous to Emperor Towosi of 
Finance, to the Kings Towosi of 
Commerce, to the Barons Towosi of 
Industry, and to all the lesser To- 
wosis in their various degrees, and 
is naturally supported by them. In- 
deed, the functional mix-up, in large 
part, directly results from this per- 
niciously parasitic pyramidal Towosi 
system of self-assumed autocratic 

The liberation of our Industrial De- 
mocracy from the baneful influence 
and Autocratic rule of Tricksy C. 
Towosi magic would make possible 
the elimination of the existing con- 
fusion, resulting from the chaotic in- 
termingling of the component pro- 
cesses of Production, Distribution, 
and Direction, with enormously en- 
hanced "freedom of opportunity" for 
"personal" initiative — self-expression. 

The emancipation of science, of 
technology, of productive industry, 
and thus of all society, from the con- 



trol of Tricksy C. Towosi (his myth- 
ical manufactured "credit" and his 
money magic) can only, as I see it, 
be accomplished by science nation- 
alized — Technocracy. 

Produce - Distribute - Direct. 

The tripartite division of industrial 
process into Production, Distribution, 
and Direction is obligatory from its 
nature. Necessary because it corre- 
sponds to the tripart separation of 
the natural economic urge which dif- 
ferentiates men into, and motivates, 
Skilful Strongs, Cunning Strongs, and 
Tricksy Cunnings. 

To violate this division by over- 
lapping or by exchange of natural 
function, is to flout Nature, for it 
attempts to negate a nature given 

To break Nature's laws is an of- 
fence which neither man individually 
nor man collectively — society — can 
commit with impunity. 

Blind Leaders of the Blind. 

One natural result of such irra- 
tionality is present day social con- 
fusion — futile functioning from' which 
few (seemingly) benefit, while many 
really suffer. For even the few en- 
joy only temporary and a very ques- 
tionable "good". 

Thus irrationally led civilization 
has run wild — chasing phantoms. 

Verily! the World is vibrant with 
signs, Europe reeks with bloody por- 
tents, and the whole Towosi Finan- 
cial Cabal has gone megalomaniac — 
dreaming "credit" pipe-dreams of the 
boundless wealth of infinite futurity, 
and greedily striving to grasp these 
mythical billions! 

Whom the gods would destroy 
they first make mad. 

Scientist — Social Servant. 

Think for a moment of T. N. T. 

Think of Twenty-inch-, and Sev- 
enty-five-mile Guns. . . . 

Think of Air-ships. . . 

Think of Submarines. . . . 

Think of "Poison Dew" — that can 
destroy all human life for miles 

Think of disease germs. . . 

Think of all the devilish poten- 
tialities of science and technology — 

in the hands of self-centered Tricksy 
Cunning. . . 

Think . . . ! 

Then . . . Is it not as apparent 
to you, as it seems self-evident to 
me, that this "need" (of nationalizing 
the Scientist and Technician) has be- 
come a crying "want" — a danger- 
fraughl mal-adjustment in modern 
society, our Alan-made environment? 

Then . . . Does it not strike 
you as a self-evidently valid eco- 
nomic expedient and a wholly ra- 
tional proposition: 

That, by virtue alone of becoming 
a Scientist or a Technician, one 
should thereby concomitantly and 
concurrently become an honored and 
suitably rewarded National Official — 
Public Servant? 

That, every academy or college of 
Science and Technology should be 
an industrial "West Point", a con- 
structive "Annapolis" — a National 
training school of con-structive In- 
dustrial Democracy? 

"Let Him Be Your Servant." 

For this social "need" to become 
a generally recognized social "want"; 
for the validity of this proposition to 
be generally self-evident, there is re- 
quired not only an enlightened vision 
of their social function by scientists 
and technicians, but its discernment 
by the sovereign People, the source 
of all power and progress of the 

"And whosoever will be chief (i e., 
leader) among you, let him be your 

That — is Industrial Democracy. 

Parasitic Toll Gates. 

There can be no "freedom of the 
seas" while one nation controls the 
Commerce Routes: in like manner, 
there can be no "freedom of oppor- 
tunity" while one (acquisitive) class 
controls the Highways of Oppor- 
tunity needed for human self-expres- 
sion (natural forces, resources and 
means of production), with parasitic 
toll-gates of conventional ownership. 

Perish — Parasitically. 

Not parasitism, but creative self- 
expressing Personality is the quin- 
tessence of "human nature", hence 



of "human" need: "Social Recon- 
struction" — our Social Problem — has 
plainly posed for it its ultimate ob- 

This must be the central idea of 
reconstructed human society. 

The what to be attained is clear. 

How it is to be attained is equally 

Society must be so re-organized as 
to give the amplest opportunity (not 
alone to Tricksy Cunning, but) _ to 
each citizen for real-izing his aspira- 
tions. ■ 

It must do this, or — perish para- 

Obviously the conscious and pur- 
posive desire for such a society is it- 
self an aspiration. 

But . . . ! 

Aspirations, be it always remem- 
bered, conceived in the "realm of 
spirit", must (and can only be) real- 
ized in the world of acts and things. 
They must be "reduced to practice" 
in a world of mechanical matter and 
physical acts. 

"Force of Ideas." 

It folloAvs directly from this that 
the oft-repeated and cherished phrase 
"the force of ideas" expresses a wide- 
spread misconception, a fallacious, 
dangerously misleading notion. 

The only "force" which science 
has recognized or knows anything 
about, is the "force" which moves 
ponderable objects. But, Ideals and 
Ideas expressed in acts and things 
(i. e., force and matter), sums up 
the miracle of human life. 

Reduction to Practice. 

Mal-adjustments — needs, lacks — 
conscious "wants," are our urges; 

Nature, is our boundless store of 
forces and resources; 

Science,, is our systematized de- 
scriptive catalogue of these forces and 

Technology, is our tested and spe- 
cialized experience in dealing with the 
available materials, means, methods 
and processes — systematized by Sci- 
ence—wherewith to satisfy our "wants"; 

Invention, is (and ideally exhibits) 
the method of reducing productive 
ideas and ideals to practice; 

Finance, is (and ideally exhibits) 

the method of reducing parasitic ideas 
and ideals to practice. 

From the effects and effective meth- 
ods of "Invention" we may get valu- 
able suggestions as to what social 
course to pursue, and from the effects 
and effective methods of "Finance" we 
may get equally valuable suggestions 
as to what to avoid in our solution of 
the "Social Problem," and the reduc- 
tion of the solution to practice. 

Social Dreams. 

Then : Exercising our unified free- 
dom to choose our Social Destiny; in- 
ventively using our combined con- 
structive imagination to visualize it, 
our mutualized reason to rationally 
plan it, utilizing our racial experience 
scientifically organized and our scien- 
tifically co-ordinated national re- 
sources to actualize it; we may cour- 
ageously attack our "Social Problem" 
with well-founded hopeful confidence 
that we will realize imagination's pic- 
tured social joys and rational social 
purposes, and — prevent the recur- 
rence of painfully remembered social 
mishaps. Thus, as the Inventor 
realizes his ideas, we, too, can ma'ice 
our social dreams come true. 

And so — like Mr. W. Man of our 
parable — our days may be long in 
our long-sought land of promise, 
which some call the Country of Self- 
Realization, and many others, the 
Land of Joyous Accomplishment; but 
most, (Simple Strongs,) name it sim- 
ply — Opportunity. 

Essentials of Productive Industry. 

As adequate differentiation is one 
law of a successful machine, so co- 
ordination is the other. This is ex- 
hibited in the machine which is Man, 
no less than by the purposive struc- 
tures he makes. 

Lacking self-consciousness there 
can be no purpose; 

Lacking purpose there can be no 

Lacking co-ordination there can be 
no realization of purpose; 

Lacking knowledge of Nature there 
can be no successful industry; 

Lacking the requirements of Na- 
ture's laws and the needs of Human 
Nature — the most fundamental of 



which is freedom — there can be no 
permanent productive organization; 

Lacking (unhampered) direction of 
scientists and technicians, (whose 
Nature-made function is to know and 
to utilize the facts and forces of 
Nature,) there can be no permanent 
modern industry; 

Lacking organized production, dis- 
tribution, and direction, with effective 
co-ordination of the economic traits 
(strength, skill, cunning) — all unified 
for a predetermined purpose — there 
can be no (private or public) indus- 
trial organization. 

Essentials of Industrial Democracy. 

Thus, from all the foregoing, it 
conclusively appears that: 

Lacking spiritual liberty; 

Lacking organized co-ordination of 
the economic factors — Strong men; 
Skilled men; Cunning men; 

Lacking intelligent (non-parasitic) 
co-ordination of the natural forces 
and resources; 

Lacking rational (natural) division 
into production, distribution, direc- 

Lacking guidance of worthy na- 
tional leaders, whose minds are 
"stored with knowledge of the great 
and fundamental truths of Nature and 
the Laws of her operations"; 

Lacking nationally-conscious pur- 

Lacking any of these essentials 
there can be no true and permanent 
Industrial Democracy: Q. E. D. 

Unifying Spirit. 

As my constructive imagination vis- 
ualizes the modern social complex 
and its "Social Problem," these Na- 
ture-made requirements are met and 
provided for by Technocracy. 

But, above all, and before all, (as 

I see it), there can be no true, worth- 
while and permanent national "So- 
ciety" (worthy of the Human Race, 
which has produced Newton, Shakes- 
pear, Socrates, Christ), lacking uni- 
fied National Self-conscious Spirit — 
initiative with responsibility — and 
hence an ever upward expanding ra- 
tional, consciously perceived National 
Purpose, expressing our National Per- 


What I have written in these Tech- 
nocracy papers is not destructive crit- 
icism. On the contrary, if there is 
truth in the ideas which I have en- 
deavored to formulate, if there is va- 
lidity in any of my propositions, then 
they can only be constructive. For 
truth is destructive only of fallacies, 
errors and ignorance; which is only a 
round-about way of describing con- 

What I have endeavored to do is 
to answer, for my own individual sat- 
isfaction, and out of my social urge, 
these questions: 

What is the meaning of the Social 

What is the nature of its energizing 

Is there an intelligible Principle 
behind it all? 

What is the nature of the Principle? 

Whither is the World-wide Move- 
ment tending? 

In "Technocracy" I have clarified 
my own thoughts; and if, incidentally, 
I have done a like service for others, 
and thrown some light upon these 
momentous questions, my purpose 
has been accomplished. 

"I thank vou." 

Fernwald. Berkelev, Calif. 
June 8, 1921. 




Social Universals 


The main •function of society is to oppose its 
combined effectiveness to every natural and 
artificial condition which tends to hamper the 
freedom of the individual in so far as the acts of 
the individual are consistent with the community 


The products of effort are the results of life 
energy expressing itself through an individual 
upon his environment to the end that this in- 
dividual may and shall express more individual 
life. Ownership of products, therefore, is as 
essentially inherent in the producing individual 
as are the faculties from which the products flow ; 
thus products are, in right and in reason, in- 
alienable from the producing individual either by 
himself or by others — except for their equivalent. 


Equal liberty is the natural right of every per- 
son to the end that purposefulness may be ex- 
pressed and function freely, limited only by per- 
fect mutuality. 


The women are the natural wards of the com- 
munity, for its life and well-being are inseparable 
from theirs. By right of her womanhood's 
natural function, every woman is therefore en- 
titled to maintenance and protection as a first 
charge upon the community resources. Realized 
motherhood places the community under obliga- 
tion proportional to the benefit accruing to it. In 
this benefit the mother is, in equity, entitled to 
participate directly. 


As the social and the true political unit, the 
family (as a unified group) is entitled effectively 
to voice its unified objectives, and to be repre- 
sented in the conduct of all community affairs. 
(Male- and female-suffrage tends to engender sex 
antagonism.) Society starts with the union of 
the sexes; social functioning should start there 
also: family suffrage — one family, one vote. 


The community's most valuable and vital asset 
are the children, therefore self-preservation makes 
it imperative that the highest intelligence and 
unremitting effort be expended upon their prep- 
aration for carrying forward the national ob- 

Every individual is entitled to equal oppor- 
tunity (i. e. without social or economic handicap), 
to the end that self-expression may have fullest 
scope and the individual thus be enabled to reach 
his highest effectiveness for self-realization and 
for the welfare of the community. 


Nature's resources are its gifts to all; they 
are man's inalienable environment; they are his 
common heritage and his common birthright. 


As it is only by and through the organization 
of the community that the individual can socially 
function, it is inherently right and reasonable 
that the surplus product of that functioning 
should accrue to the community at his death. 

Social Wants 


I SELF-OWNERSHIP— "I will" instead of 

"You must." 

II PERSONALITY instead of Parasitism. 

III KNOWLEDGE of Nature's Laws instead of 

Belief in Magic. 

[V FREEDOM of Opportunity instead of the 
Serfdom of Necessity. 


Money Monopoly. 

VI COSTLESS MONEY instead of Commodity 

Money — National Check Medium of Ex- 

VII NATIONAL HONESTY instead of Privat- 

ely "Manufactured Credit." 

VIII REWARDS for Making instead of Legal- 

ized Taking. 

IX INSURANCE at Cost for all, by all, instead 

of Exploiting for "Profit" the Mishaps of 
the Unfortunate. 


Working Explosively 

A Protest Against Mechanistic Efficiency 
By William Henry Smyth 

(Reprinted from Industrial Management, January, 1917.) 

We all know the Explosive Worker 
type and generally recognize him with 

The trouble with working explo- 
sively is that the individual addicted to 
this character of activity won't fit into 
any decently organized scheme of pro- 
duction. He's a sort of human bomb- 
shell — lacking a timer. So he "goes 
off" at any old time, day or night — 
always unexpectedly — with the utmost 
disregard to sensitive nerves and es- 
tablished conventions. 

In the family he's the juvenile 
"problem"; in school, the hopeless im- 
possible! and in the shop, the idlest 
of idle apprentices (with a big ?). In 
the factory, he's the man one is always 
going to discharge, — but . . . Or 
he's our Boss, who is "a Holy Ter- 

Working Explosively. 

There arc but two places for the 
Explosive Worker to land — at the top 
or at the bottom. And, characteris- 
tically he's rapid in getting there. 
Still worse, when true to type, he is 
disconcertingly apt to reverse his lo- 
cation from time to time, whether top 
or bottom, with the speed of a light- 
ning change artist. 

The Efficiency Expert has no place 
for the Explosive Worker — except in 
his vocabulary of dynamic expletives 
and fulminative epithets. 

Of course, all this refers to the typ- 
ical Exploder; but, curiously enough, 
each one of us at times looks back 
with self-hugging secret joy to occa- 
sions and experiences of working ex- 
plosively in our own otherwise hum- 
drum career. And, reflecting, realizes 
with some surprise that these stand 
luminously out as our really worth 
while adventures — life's decisive bat- 

Such reminiscences, and the feelings 
evoked, jolt one into thinking — to 
wondering. . . . 

Work Is Human. 

There appears to be, nay, there 
surely is, something amazingly hu- 
manly human about working explo- 
sively. We feel that there is truly 
something warm, vital, hot-blooded, 
about this sort of activity which is 
lacking in the efficient routine of eight- 
hours-a-day work at so-much per. 

In fancy we flit backward and aban- 
donedly re-erupt our own little ex- 
plosions. . . . Eight hours! — Pah! 
Twenty-four is all too short! Hours! 
Days! What are they to the Explo- 
sive Worker — during eruption. Mere 
irrelevant astronomical incidents. 

But, — with a sigh — returning to here 
and now — from memory's fecund 
realm, where we too forged vibrant 
dreams most strenuously into things 
of beauty, worth and substance, paint- 
ed with comets' tails, playing skittles 
with time and space — (Oh magic state, 
wherein all work is play, and play 
means working explosively!) — there 
still remains that work-a-day remind- 
er, the vivid impression, potent intui- 
tion, the "hunch" of discovery, so sug- 
gestive of revelation in its flash-like 

And this is the "hunch": 

Essence of Living. 

Explosive Working? Why, explo- 
sive activity is not "working" at all! 
It is the essence of living. Life itself! 

"Efficient" working and working ex- 
plosively are wholly and essentially 
different matters of experience. 

"Efficient" working expresses obedi- 
ence to the outside pressure of brute 
mechanistic Nature in the struggle to 

Working Explosively is inner life 
insistent of self-expression, the willful 
impulse of vital personality in raptur- 
ous culmination, realizing life — the joy 
of being expressed in doing. God-like 


One means Compulsion; the other 

Routine working is an efficient 
means lo an indefinitely desirable end. 
Explosive Working is an end in itself, 
regardless of outcome. The very joy 
of working. Self realization. 

One suggests Force and Mechanism; 
the other, Life and Liberty. 

In one we function, contract, and 
serve a purpose; in the other we live, 
expand, dominate. In one we work 
by necessity as more or less efficient 
"elements" in a mighty but cold and 
incomprehensible machine; 'in the 
other I am the living IT— Earth-God 
of things, of matter, and of motion — 
the Mechanician. 

Is Human Problem. 

This issue involves no mere moot 
or academic distinction, about which 
idle men may split dialectic hairs or 
bandy fluent phrases to fill a vacant 
hour. Profoundly is it otherwise, for 
it touches closely on the deepest and 
most significant of all human prob- 
lems — the eternal paradox of freedom. 
At bottom it is this question of human 
worth as against human productive ef- 
ficiency which is being fought out in 
the World-conflict today — and not 
alone in the spectacular European 

So much for the "hunch." And now 
for the questions which it raises. 

These are many tough conundrums, 
which I have no intention of now at- 
tempting to answer. 

Here is one, by way of example: 

Is the ultimate outcome of mechan- 
istic efficiency humanly desirable? Is 
the Art of Efficiency itself efficientr 

Clearly, there is no place in this 
"Art" for "Explosive" working; and 
less than no place for the "Exploder." 
Both are too spasmodic, orgastic, con- 
vulsive; and either would burst into its 
ultimate primordial atoms the most 
systematic efficiency organization ever 
invented. Yet, almost equally clear is 
it, that without both of these joyous 
unruly factors there would he no Art — 
dramatic, artistic, nor even produc- 
tive — in which to he efficient, to prac- 
tice the Art of Efficiency. 

Often Overlooked. 

A real Art of Human Efficiency 

Fernwald, Berkeley, November, 1916. 

must, of course, take cognizance of 
the inherent characteristics of the hu- 
man elements; and the most basic 
quality of life — certainly of life exem- 
plified in Man — is this very quality of 
i xplosiveness — explosiveness which we 
all so commonly overlook and insist- 
ently ignore till made to sit up and 
lake ndtice by some extra-violenr 
eruption in our own vicinity, or in 
one's own self. 

Here, then, seems to be a funda- 
mental difficulty: Efficiency requires 
control in order to be efficient. But 
human beings, to be human, must 
freely effervesce — uncontrollably erupt 
— or contract to mere efficiency rou- 
tine-output-producing machines. 

This raises the question at once: 
To what end is the modern Art of 
Efficiency directed? What is its con- 
sciously desired goal? 

Of course, we all know the obvious 
and seemingly conclusive answer: To 
make better men — in order to increase 
their productiveness. 

This answer, it seems to me, in- 
stead of being conclusive, only raises 
another string of deeply vital ques- 

Is "Efficiency" Efficient? 

Can an Art of Efficiency, dealing 
with human elements incidentally, but 
with products as its first considera- 
tion, conceivably result in other than 
ultimate disaster to the incidental 

Can the finished human output of 
our boasted Art become more desir- 
ably Human and less machines than 
the inefficient human raw materials? 

By Efficiency's first law, must not 
the primary object necessarily divert 
to itself all consideration — de-human- 
ize the Human Element into highly 
efficient mechanisms for production' 

Is mechanistic efficiency Humanly 
efficient ? 

Is the Art of Efficiency, by any 
chance, mis-directed? Misdirected 
towards products as an end in itself, 
instead of towards the development of 
vitally initiative human individuals — 
joyous workers, to whom product is 
a by-product, wealth an incident — 
\1 I \, who, for the very joy qf the 
working, work explosively? 

Working Explosively 


Working Efficiently 

By William Henry Smyth 

(Reprinted from Industrial 

Between working efficiently and 
working ineffectively there can be 
no question as to which is the more 
desirable, nor would I raise any such 

"Working Explosively" is not an 
argument for inefficiency, quite the 
contrary. The article, as I intended 
it, and as I think it indicates to the 
thoughtful reader, is merely a Stop! 
Look! Listen! signal; a hand raised; 
a suggestion to pause — pause a mo- 
ment to consider whether we are 
intelligently directing our efforts 
toward the end for which we seek, 
the goal for which we strive, the 
reward for which we all struggle. 

My own experience with life 
ranges through the whole gamut, 
from the coarsest forms of manual 
labor up to original constructive 
mental work, both as employed and 
employer — at the grind of "work- 
ing efficiently" and the joy of^ 
"working explosively." I have as- 
sociated on terms of equality with 
hoboes, with laborers, with mechan- 
ics, and with captains of industry 
and finance. And far from being 
a socialist, I am individualistic to the 
nth degree. Thus, my Stop! Look! 
Listen! warning is based on facts, 
and upon experience, not upon the 
fancies of an overwrought imagina- 

Importance of Worker 

Based upon this varied experience, 
the question I wish to raise involves 
the relative importance of the work- 
er, or his work — human worth, or 
the products of human toil. 

Efficiency is no new invention; it 
is as old as intelligence itself. None 
realize efficiency so completely as 
the creative genius, — our Darwins, 
Faradays, Edisons, and Fords, — and 
none so completely practice and ex- 
emplify working explosively. Genius 
itself, we are told, is the capability 
for taking infinite pains. 

Management, May, 1917.) 

The Art of Efficiency proposes to 
substitute the short cut of imitating 
efficient mechanical tricks for the 
toilsome process of becoming a 

The Explosive Worker is a strenu- 
ous worker whose intense preoccupa- 
tion is with accomplishing perfectly 
that predetermined end in which his 
interest is centered. He works with 
intelligent personal intention driven 
by the explosive energy of his pur- 
pose. If he is driving rivets, he 
is driving them so that they will 
accomplish the object intended. 

Working Explosively is human 
purpose expressing itself through 
inanimate material; it is not the 
function of an unhurried efficient 
human machine striking so many 
well directed blows in a definite 

Means Personal Energy 

Working Explosively means per- 
sonal energy, strenuously applied to 
the accomplishment of a personally 
desirable result. 

Working Explosively is not a 
matter of habit, instinct, or routine. 
It involves the concentration of all 
the faculties upon the work in hand 
to the end of producing the result 
desired. It is subconscious impulse 
raised to conscious effort of accom- 

The Efficiency Expert joyously 
fills his God-like function as he 
shuffles numbered human "hands" 
and rearranges his human "pegs" 
into round or square holes, so that 
"hands" and "pegs" shall contribute 
most efficiently to production. But, 
soulless pegs and automaton hands 
which will passively stay put are 
somewhat different factors from 
Men and Women with personal likes 
and dislikes and smouldering pas- 
sions which must explode either in 
Work or W r ar — hence industrial un- 
rest and warfare. 


The "Art of Efficiency" is merely 
a new name for an old and very 
dangerous form — or misdirection — of 

The essential question is not how 
many more billion dollars worth 
of product can be made or saved, 
but how many more million human 
beings can express themselves in the 
direction of personal accomplish- 
ment. And, in my view, this latter 
course is the more logical and the 
more likely one to produce the for- 
mer results indirectly through the 
interest of the worker than directly 
through the efficient control of his 

Outside Worker 

"Working Efficiently" assumes 
control outside of the worker, direct- 
ing his actions and efforts toward a 
purpose in the mind of the con- 

"Working Explosively" assumes 
control inside of the worker, di- 
recting his action and energy 
towards an interesting outcome. 

In a broad sense, one is Autocracy 
and the other Democracy. Imper- 
fectly but significantly, Germany 
and the United States repre- 
sent these two opposite ideals 
of human activity. The one repre- 
sents efficient working, the other 
a crude and embryonic form of 
working explosively. One makes for 
mechanistic efficiency, the other for 
human liberty. ' 

Hopefulness is a personal quality, 
it cannot exist in connection with 
work in the outcome of which the 
worker is not interested, and Hope- 
fulness is a fundamental factor in 
working explosively. 

"Working Explosively" and "Work- 

ing Efficiently" express only imper- 
fectly the underlying idea in each. 
In essence, they imply two opposite 
ideals. In the former, emphasis is 
placed upon the worker; in the latter, 
emphasis is placed upon the work. To 
my way of thinking the two points 
of view are essentially antithetical. 
Of course, the only way of bring- 
ing about the welfare of human kind 
is on the basis of right and justice. 
But, who shall determine these mo- 
mentous bases? You or I? The 
Efficiency Expert or the "pegs" 
which he re-arranges into round or 
square holes? The employer or the 

Conflict Exists 

To close our eyes and pretend that 
there is no conflict between employer 
and employed is futility itself. To 
say that the interest of these is mu- 
tual when the employer has all of 
the joy of working explosively and 
the employed all the grind of work- 
ing efficiently is equally futile. 

I gird neither against employer 
nor employed. My proposition is: 
from the joy of the work — Working 
Explosively — come better men. 
more worthy citizens, and greater 

I hold that a human being — human 
personality — is of infinitely more 
consequence than the product of the 
hands and brain; that a true ulti- 
mate efficiency implies the liberation 
of Man rather than the efficient con- 
trol of his actions; that the ultimate 
well-being of all implies not the in- 
telligent control of passively efficient 
human elements, but the liberation 
of men and women to purposeful 
joy of Working Explosively. 

Femwald, Berkeley, March, 1917. 
















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